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LETTERS OF 
GILBERT LITTLE STARK 




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LETTERS OF 
GILBERT LITTLE STARK 

JULY 23, I907-MARCH 12, 1908 



PRIVATELT PRINTED 

AT THE RIVERSIDE PRESS CAMBRIDGE 

1908 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. Japan ...... 3 

II. China ..... no 

III. Diary of the Mongolian Trip . •145 

IV. Letters and Journal of the For- 

mosa Trip ..... 191 

V. Canton, Java, and Malaysia . 286 

VI. Burmah . . . . . 378 

VII. India ..... 427 

Appendix ..... 477 



LETTERS OF 
GILBERT LITTLE STARK 

CHAPTER I 

JAPAN 

S. S. Shinano Maru, July 23, 1907. 

Dear Family, — To-day we are three quar- 
ters of the way to Japan. A map of the world 
hangs where I can see it as I write, and the red 
line which traces our course has crawled slowly 
past the Aleutian Islands that hang like a ham- 
mock between the oldest and the newest conti- 
nents, almost to Kamschatka — sounds like the 
farthest end of the world, does n't it ? — and now 
we are pointing straight towards Hokkaido — 
the northern island of Japan. When I look at 
the end of this red line and think that I am 
there, and then look at the other edge of North 
America and think how far off you are — but I 
don't do it very often; it is n*t worth while. 

We have had fog every day since we left 
Seattle. Sometimes fog and rain, sometimes fog 



4 LETTERS OF 

and sunshine, sometimes just common or garden 
fog. Twice we have had a sunrise, and one 
memorable day a sunset. The weather has been 
very cold, but only once did we have any wind 
to speak of; that once it certainly did itself proud 
in the wind line. We have had two fire-drills and 
seen nine whales, had three meals and five 
o'clock tea every day, and played two thousand 
five hundred and three or seven games of shuffle- 
board. There in a nutshell is our life on ship- 
board for two weeks to-day. And yet we have all 
been contented, — more than contented, ac- 
tively happy. It is a wonderful, calm, and unholy 
joy to have nothing to do but sit and watch for 
fire-drills and whales. I am growing so fearfully 
rotund under this schedule that I fear even 
climbing Fuji Yama will not be sufficient to 
reduce my girth to normal proportions. 

The routine remains the same as it was at 
first : Bath — coffee — walk — breakfast — 
diary — luncheon — book — tea — walk or 
shuffle-board — dinner — talk — sleep. We do 
absolutely nothing; but really can't find time 
to get it all in. The meals continue to surprise 
us by their excellence and freshness — and also 
the inventive genius of the cook. "Toad in the 
hole," "Bubble and Squeak," "Fried devilled 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 5 

bones," and "Angels on horseback" march on 
to the festal board in unblushing succession. 

The day of storm that we had last Wednesday- 
was one of the most interesting of the trip. We 
tumbled out of our bunks in the morning, to 
find the water in the bath-tubs splashing over 
in an alarming manner. The wind had veered 
during the night and was now driving an endless 
herd of great, unvdeldy white horses straight 
down through Behring Straits on to the side of our 
poor ship. Big as houses were these wild white 
horses, foaming at the mouth as they towered 
over us, throwing us easily over their huge green 
shoulders as they rushed from beneath us, and 
flinging back their great snowy manes and tails 
as they raced off towards the horizon. 

We put on rubber coats and stood all morning 
on the wind'ard side swallowing the wind in 
great gulps, our faces numbed with the cold 
and dripping with spray. The lower decks fore 
and aft were swept continually by great clouds 
of spray. Several times a wave would swell 
higher and higher, and finally hurl a few barrels 
of green water over the rail of our promenade 
deck and slap up against the doors of the state- 
rooms. 

In the afternoon the sun came out suddenly 



6 LETTERS OF 

and the whole black sea was instantly trans- 
formed into a floor of deep sapphire above which 
the sky was a pale arch, paler than a robin's egg. 
The white crests of the waves dazzled with their 
brightness, and the wind boomed over the great 
wave-hollows like a mighty organ. 

Some of our fellow passengers are very inter- 
esting. At the head of the list is Juji Nakada 
San, a Japanese Christian missionary now re- 
turning from his second trip around the world. 
He is one of the brightest, joUiest, cleverest, 
most cultured men that I have ever known. He 
is a master of jiu-jitsu, and some of his early 
conversions were accompHshed by sitting on the 
neophyte's head and talking to him of the glories 
to come. He has told us invaluable things about 
the religions and prejudices of the .people, and 
knowing him has revolutionized our ideas of his 
people, of the possibility of introducing Chris- 
tianity into the Orient, and the present attitude 
of the United States towards Japan. 

Next in interest is Mr. C , the man whom 

I met between Chicago and St. Paul. He is 
Scotch, and piece by piece we have learned a 
little of his history. His brother is a famous 

musician, and Mr. Oswald C , for such is 

his unfortunate cognomen, is a musician of no 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 7 

mean education. Then it also appears that he 
has painted pictures which have attracted wide 
attention. In addition to his achievements on 
canvas we are assured by Nakada, with whom 
C is travelling, that he is a very good archi- 
tect. Add to these accompHshments the facts 
that he has taught philosophy and psychology for 
twelve years, is an ordained minister, and intends 
to spend twelve years in travelling around the 
world, and you will appreciate the conviction 
with which I repeat that he is an interesting man. 

In the next stateroom to C are two cal- 
low youths from Salt Lake City, Utah. Specu- 
lation was rife for several days as to what their 
business could be in Japan, for they declared 
that their stay was to be for three years at least. 
Finally the truth came out with all the startHng 
effect of an exploding bomb. Aged eighteen and 
nineteen respectively, with hardly a grammar- 
school education, and unmistakable proclivities 
towards the Coney Island dance-hall type of 
amusement, these noble youths are starting out 
on a career as — guess if you can — Mormon 
missionaries! 

Exhibit number four is one that we are really 
very fond of, but he must forgive us a brief smile 
He is aged twenty-nine; but before we knew 



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we should have believed any one who told us 
he was fifty. He is Abraham Lincoln come to 
life, in appearance. Tall, gaunt, ungainly, with 
hands like hams, and a great oblong face that 
looks as if it had been rather poorly carved out 
of a tough blockof hickory and then been severely 
weather-beaten for several years. He always 
wears a rusty black suit and a high black fedora 
hat with a deep crease and a brim that imitates 
the size and angles of his ears. He is to be seen 
at any time of day or night twisting his mouth 
around a toothpick just as some men chew a 
cigar. He graduated from Vanderbilt Univer- 
sity at Nashville, and before embarking on this 
noble ship he had never seen an ocean. He is 
very shy, but rather lonely and inquisitive. The 
result is that he never misses a trick. Whenever 
a group of more than one is gathered on the 
deck, you may see his dark clothes and toothpick 
towering back of it like a brooding Fate. For 
the first three days he did not speak. Now that 
he feels more at home he is very willing, nay, 
anxious, to talk, but he has nothing to talk about. 
His life has been about as exciting as that of a 
sponge. Under all the awkwardness, however, 
there is a fine, solid character and fund of humor 
too. This trip is making history for him, he is 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 9 

learning to exchange ideas, to be flippant. The 
least sally will draw an appreciative roar from 
him, and he has even ventured one or two him- 
self. The other day, after a good meal, he lapsed 
into baby talk ! Imagine it if you can ; it caused 
the nearest approach to an attack of apoplexy 
in me that I ever hope to have. Oh, yes, his 
name is T ! 

There are about as many Japanese as there 
are Americans, maybe a few more, and they are 
interesting and very friendly. They tell us that 
a little coldness or slow service in the country is 
absolutely the only result of the present trouble 
that we are likely to experience. 

Our captain is a delightful man. Commander 
Kaware he is, and well known among those up 
in naval affairs. During the late war he com- 
manded the transport Ceylon Maru, and he has 
many interesting tales to tell. He has brought 
out his pictures of the war for us, and danced 
the samurai dance on deck, and made himself 
entertaining generally. He has some wonderful 
photographs of executions and battlefields. 

He is a little taller than most of his race; I 
think he is almost my height, but he is well 
muscled and very heavy. His face is tanned a 
rich apple red through the natural brown, and 



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his teeth are very white. He is always smiling, 
and his trim little mustache curls way up at the 
corners in consequence. I should call him a 
very handsome man. In both the captain and 
Nakada two traits have struck me. First, their 
remarkable good nature and jollity and their 
athletic activity; they are both like boys in their 
teens. Second, the strange power of mimicry 
and making faces. The faces they make while 
they are telling a story are exactly the grotesque 
masks that we see on their gods and demons. I 
think the secret lies in the mobile mouth, for 
they are both remarkably good-looking men. 

July 26, 6.30 A. M. 

Since I last wrote we have had beautiful 
weather, two sparkling blue days during which 
we lay around the deck with our coats off, for 
the weather is now like the mildest, best Septem- 
ber days at the Lake. Yesterday we sighted 
land at daybreak, and in a hazy, intermittent 
way it has been with us ever since. About noon 
a bold promontory came out to interfere with 
us, and pushed a beautiful island almost in our 
path. We passed so close that w^e could see the 
shade under the funny gnarled pines that cov- 
ered the whole island, and we exchanged signals 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK ii 

for several minutes. Kinkwa San the island is 
called ; it is a little cone-shaped mountain rising 
straight out of the sea, with its sides covered 
by a dark olive-green forest, a Hghthouse on its 
outer edge, and a shrine on its summit; the 
inhabitants are sacred apes and deer, Kinkwa 
San — Mount of the Golden Flower — our 
first glimpse of Japan. 

This morning I got up at 5.30, just in time to 
see the mast of the poor Dakota rising above 
the calm water. We are now entering the Bay 
of Yeddo, Yokohama harbor. We have passed 
between two points, and the shore circles away 
from us on both sides. The sky line is like the 
sky line of a very stormy sea viewed from a deep 
wave-hollow — the volcanic origin is easy to see. 
All around us are the fishing boats starting out 
on their morning trip. Queer junks, with bodies 
like a hollow wooden wheel cut in two, and great 
square sails at the back. The fishermen wear 
kimonos and do their heads up in white towels. 
Sometimes, too, we run past a flock of little 
sampans with two men sculling as they stand, 
Venetian fashion. 

I will write fully of our plans in Japan as soon 
as we have landed and gotten our bearings. 
We shall be on shore in a very few hours, and 



12 LETTERS OF 

you can imagine how excited I am ! Sad to say, 
it is too cloudy to see Fuji. 

I thought I had forgotten how to be excited 
over things, but this is teaching me over again. 

Loads and loads of love to all. 

Your loving son, Gilbert. 

Tokyo, July 27, 1907. 

Dear Family, — This is the first morning 
we have seen in Nippon — Land of the Rising 
Sun — and it is a beautiful one. I have not yet 
dressed, but am sitting in that cool dressing- 
gown of father's, which, by the way, is one of the 
most useful things I have with me, and look- 
ing out over the funny waffle-like roofs of the 
Imperial City. 

Our hotel is a big, roomy European building, 
with verandahs and courts and gardens in un- 
expected corners. No elevator, but it is only 
three stories high, so they don't need one. Our 
rooms are on the third floor, and we each have a 
single room about the size of both of our parlors 
together. 

July 28, Sunday. 

My letter yesterday was interrupted by the 
announcement that it was time to keep an en- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 13 

gagement at Shimbashi station; more of that 
anon. 

On Friday the approach to Yokohama had 
hardly anything foreign about it to make us feel 
that we were really half the world away from 
home ; but as soon as we got close enough to the 
dock to see the people there to meet the steamer, 
then the surprises commenced. The general 
effect given by the crowd at the wharf was a 
melee of very bare legs and chests, and a cloud 
of light, blowy, floating draperies, all colors of 
the rainbow. 

After a great deal of talking and bowing and 
scraping, we succeeded in getting our baggage 
checked to Tokyo. Then we rode about the 
town in rickshaws. Getting into a rickshaw for 
the first time is like going back to childhood days 
and the baby carriage. They are frail creations 
on two wheels, with a pair of bare legs and ill- 
concealed brown body between the shafts, the 
brown affair being topped by an inverted chop- 
ping-bowl, or possibly a great flat disk of straw, 
perhaps an acre in area. As you roll comfortably 
along the street you look right into and through 
the houses and stores on both sides of the street, 
and every phase of private life Hes open before 
you. We got a bite to eat at a little tea-house 



14 LETTERS OF 

and then climbed about one hundred steps to the 
Yokohama temple and had a magnificent view 
of the harbor and the flat roofs of the city. At 
5. 1 5 we caught a train to Tokyo, and here we are. 
Tokyo is a fascinating place. There is very 
little European architecture, and the streets are 
full of more strange and interesting sights than 
ever the Midway exhibited. Imagine yourself 
in a soft, cushioned, easy-running rickshaw, 
with a pair of legs twinkling swiftly along 
in front of you. On each side are little one- 
story stores open like caves, and full of china, 
silks, flowers, vegetables, fish, and bronze work. 
Right among the stores are the shops where 
the things are made, and you see carpenters 
or embroiderers at work in every block. The 
streets vary from little alleys, where you can 
almost touch both walls, to great broad thorough- 
fares that equal our broadest streets. Sometimes 
you strike a residence district where an open 
gate gives you a glimpse of a quaint garden, or 
behind a bamboo grating you see a little maid 
polishing and scrubbing for dear life. Every 
street has the peculiarity of seeming to end in 
open country. That is, if you look up or down 
the street, you might think you were in a village 
and that the street led out into broad fields. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 15 

That is because everything is so low; it is hard 
to realize that this is one of the great cities of the 
world, but when you have been pulled for several 
hours at a dog-trot and find the same streets 
everywhere, the truth comes home to you. 

Then the people ! There are two millions here, 
and I think I must have seen every one. Imagine 
if you can a street of the kind I have tried to 
describe above, then fill street and shops as far 
as the eye can reach with people. Old and 
young, older and younger, some of them, than 
any one you have ever seen before. Imagine 
them dressed in kimonos, the men in a sober 
blue or stripes, the women in all sorts of pretty 
colors, with great sashes, and hair like the cream 
whirls on a fancy charlotte russe all covered with 
black shellac. Sprinkle in every color and shade 
from almost negro black, through coffee and tan 
shoes, to pure pink and white. Add a little live 
Jap doll to every square foot of ground, until you 
have created about three million babies, and 

make every third man look exactly like H 

B . Wherever you cast your eyes let there 

be a flash of very white teeth from ten or twelve 
people at once, and let there be a continual 
undercurrent of audible laughter. Season well 
with low bows on all sides and a great abundance 



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of bare skin, and you have a Tokyo street com- 
plete. One thing I forgot, however, — just a 
dash of sandalwood smell everywhere. 

In all Tokyo we have not seen a really ugly 
person, a frown, or a beggar, and now we know 
what Nakada meant when he kept saying that 
we are " too much civiHzed." Here is a people 
intellectually our equal, every bit, and yet they 
live in play-houses and wear night-gowns all day, 
when they wear anything. What is the use of 
our elaborate kitchens when we can cook fish 
on a hot soapstone while sitting on the door- 
step ? Another surprise is the absence of Euro- 
pean costumes. I suppose they are worn more 
in the winter, but now they are as rare among 
the common people as kimonos are on Fifth 
Avenue. 

Yesterday we met John, Ted, and their friend 
Mr. Tsuika at the Shimbashi station as they 
came in from Yokohama, and Mr. Tsuika took 
us all to the Imperial University, where we found 
Dr. Sato, to whom John had a letter. Dr. Sato 
is one of the most famous surgeons in Japan, 
and he has his own hospital and is the head of 
the medical department at the University. That 
department has two beautifully appointed hos- 
pitals, and an anatomical building that puts any- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 17 

thing I have seen before to shame, with a patho- 
logical building as large. The doctor showed us 
all over the University. (Called away.) 

5 p. M., same day. 

The University has more ground and more 
buildings than our own, but about the same 
number of students. At noon, Mr. Tsuika 
treated us to a luncheon at the Seiyoken restau- 
rant in one of the city parks — Neyeno Park. 
Luncheon was served in European style, and 
we had no sooner gotten well started than in 
came two of our classmates who are going to 
teach in the PhiHppines! 

At 5.30 we started out for a dinner-party at 
the Maple Leaf Restaurant in Shiba Park. Dr. 
Sato had asked us all to be his guests, and we 
found him awaiting us with a friend. Dr. Sakai, 
a professor of the University and a young man 
about thirty years old. Neither of our hosts could 
talk English, so all our conversation was in Ger- 
man. This restaurant is the Sherry's of Tokyo. 
It is a long, low building, with a large courtyard 
in front for rickshaws. At the door our shoes 
were removed and we proceeded to enter in our 
stocking feet. Our host led the way through to the 
back, over mats as spotless as our table-cloths 



i8 LETTERS OF 

and soft as velvet. At the back v^as an exquisite 
garden, rocks, bridges, pools of goldfish, gnarled 
trees, and masses of flowering shrubs. One wing 
of the building stretched into the garden and 
almost to the edge of a high clifF that gave a fine 
broad view over trees and houses far below. Our 
party had the whole end of this wing. The room 
in which we found ourselves was a very large 
rectangle without furniture or ornament. The 
floor of beautiful soft mats, one wall and one end 
of delicately painted screens, one end open to the 
view from the clifF, and the remaining side all 
open to the garden. Outside of the open sides 
ran a little roofed verandah of teak-wood pol- 
ished like a piano-top. There were niches in the 
one stationary side-wall, and in each niche was 
either a single vase of flowers or a great bronze 
dragon. 

After we had admired the room and view and 
garden, in came a procession of geisha girls — 
one for each of us, and two extra little butterflies 
about eleven years old. They ofi^ered us tea and 
then fixed cushions for us along the open end, 
being the end of the room that was screened off. 
We sat cross-legged without anything to lean 
against, and our geishas sat directly in front, 
facing us. A tray was placed between each of us 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 19 

and our geisha, and on that the supper was 
served. As the hght faded from outside, some 
quaint, soft electric lights were turned on by an 
unseen agency. Of course we used chopsticks 
only, and our geishas had a great time teaching 
us the art. Everything was served on little open 
plates or in covered bowls. First we had soup, 
then mushrooms cut lengthwise in thin slices, 
next a sort of pressed meat, fat, cut in slices and 
garnished with mushrooms and vegetables, then 
roast fish with many vegetables, then raw fish ! 
This raw fish was really delicious, it was almost 
the best dish that we had served us ! It was cut 
in very thin slices and looked clean and white, 
and the sauce in which you dipped it before 
eating was a marvel and a triumph ; you must 
have raw fish at home. Next we had crawfish 
and vegetables, and then chicken with vege- 
tables, mushrooms, and candied apricots. With 
this they served thimblefuls of warm sake, the 
Japanese wine made of rice. It is customary — 
but I will tell about that when I describe the 
geisha girls. 

After we had waded through the dishes men- 
tioned above, we heard a few strains of the weird- 
est music you have ever listened to, and the screens 
at the further end slipped back disclosing three 



20 LETTERS OF 

women seated behind instruments like auto- 
harps. They gave us a little concert and then 
started to sing. At the first few bars of the song 
we heard a rustle at the door and in floated five 
more geishas in the most beautiful silks you could 
imagine. I say floated in because that is exactly 
what they did. The whole secret of the dance is 
to hide all means of motion, and you can hardly 
tell when the girls take a step, so smoothly do 
they glide. All of the movements are in unison, 
and there are no fancy steps — the girls simply 
glide from one pose to another, illustrating some 
love poem or some bit of history. Fans play a 
great part, and the hands, which are the only 
parts of the body visible, are most expressive. 
The dance lasted about eight minutes. After- 
wards we were served with a different soup and 
some more cooked fish, — tai^ this time, a favor- 
ite species, — and then stuffed lobsters with a 
mustard sauce. After this three still different 
geishas acted a little play, with an orchestra of 
five pieces in the background. The orchestra 
kept chanting the story like a Greek chorus. The 
three characters were i, an early Emperor; 
2, his Shogun; 3, a witch who enchanted them 
and threw magic spider-webs about them. The 
costumes were gorgeous, and the expression of 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 21 

their hands and face marvellous. They say the 
training of these geishas takes infinite pains and 
years and years of time. 

After this second dance we were served with 
rice over which green tea was poured, and then 
we were given great round cakes. 

The geishas sat facing us, and each one had 
by her side a little bowl of glowing coals to offer 
us as a light for cigarettes, a dainty china vase 
full of warm sake, and a bowl of water. The 
sake is very mild, and there is the following form 
involved in drinking it : you sip it, empty what 
you do not want in the bowl of water, wash the 
tiny bowl you drink from, and then offer it to 
the geisha. She holds the little dish and you pour 
for her. She takes a sip and removes it with her 
handkerchief, empties the rest into the water 
bowl, and presents the cup to you. Some of the 
girls drink it, but ours did not. The girls we 
talked with are the highest representatives of 
their class, many of them coming from good 
families. Some are dancers and some conver- 
sationalists; they are Hke the Greek Hetairae. 
The good ones are among the most polished, 
esteemed, and beautiful ladies in Japan. Their 
speech is much more refined than the wives of 
the men they entertain, and some are experts 



22 LETTERS OF 

in philosophy and Hterature; all are masters 
of polite small talk. Aside from the tiny ones of 
eleven, our girls ranged in age from sixteen to 
thirty, the oldest being the most beautiful and 
by far the most accomplished. In fact, those 
whose services bring the highest price are be- 
tween twenty-five and thirty years old. After the 
last dance about eight more geishas came in, so 
we had a very large party. We stayed over four 
hours in all, and during the evening the girls 
peeled great luscious peaches for us. We had a 
delightful time, and laughed ourselves almost 
sick. It was just like a children's party. We 
taught them several English words and they 
taught us some Japanese phrases, and we got 
along beautifully without a sign of an inter- 
preter, for it was all the doctors could do to get 
their own thoughts through our heads in Ger- 
man. Whenever a new girl came into the room, 
or when a girl changed her seat to sit before 
another fellow, she would touch her forehead to 
the floor and get off a long, very polite sentence. 
We amused them with our American tricks, 
eating matches and snapping coins from the 
backs of our hands, and they taught us funny 
ways of twisting their fingers together and ap- 
parently turning their arms inside out. They 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 23 

laughed more than we did, but their laughter 
was low and musical and their voices sweeter 
than Occidental voices. They were very prud- 
ish when they handed us anything, for they 
took terrific pains to keep from touching our 
fingers. We left in a gale and whirlwind of 
*' Good-byes" and " Sayonaras," — all the girls 
kneeling in the great lighted doorway and touch- 
ing their heads to the ground, — a great crowd of 
boys and coolies gathered around us, and each 
of us in a rickshaw with a big paper lantern 
lighted and swung from the shafts. Each "Say- 
onara'' on our part was greeted with a roar of 
laughter from geishas and coolies, and as we 
raced off into the night our rickshaw boys threw 
back their heads and sent out peal after peal of 
laughter. The road wound downhill through 
great, tall pine trees, and a wonderful moon, al- 
most full, shone through the branches. All down 
the road we could hear the laughter at the Maple 
Leaf growing fainter, and we found we could n*t 
stop laughing ourselves ; so we dashed down the 
hill all guffawing in chorus with the rickshaw 
boys, a great procession in the darkness with 
our lanterns. All together, we swung across the 
road and around corners like a flock of traveUing 
birds. 



24 LETTERS OF 

All afternoon and evening we had just been 
waiting for the leading tenor of this great comic 
opera company to step out of some little play- 
house and begin his solo ! And on that ride home 
we decided that this is not Japan — we have 
wandered into fairyland by mistake. 

I suppose that living here has its drawbacks, 
but we have not found them, and we are not 
going to hunt them up. 

Loads of love to all, Gilbert. 

Tokyo, 
Friday, July, or rather August i, 1907. 

Dear Family, — Here goes for a yard or two 
of small talk with my "geliebte familie." This 
week has been like a long carnival. We have 
spent our days wandering through parks, tem- 
ples, and shops, and our evenings in rickshaw 
rides or calls on our friends here. We have 
really seen a great deal of Nakada and his 
young nephew, Yoshinari; the latter has been 
down every day, and we have been at the Mis- 
sion twice. 

On Sunday Yoshinari took us to one of the 
town missions, and we visited a Japanese Sun- 
day-school, and later a church service. I wish 
you could have seen the children at Sunday- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 25 

school. They sang " Bringing in the Sheaves " 
in the purest Japanese, and carried the tune 
much better than our children do. The children 
are just like little dolls; every one is as pretty as 
a picture, and the way the little tots carry their 
small relations around on their backs is a strange 
sight. 

On Monday morning we took an electric car 
to Nakada's house. I wish you could see us try 
to make the conductors on these cars under- 
stand; by the way, none of them talk English. 
We rode for about an hour and then alighted 
at the prettiest little doll village of a suburb you 
can imagine. Narrow lanes, clean as the pro- 
verbial whistle, with high hedges like boxes on 
both sides. Tiny houses that you can look clear 
through from any side, with all the screens 
pushed back to let in the breeze, hidden in 
gardens full of twisted pine trees and little gold- 
fish pools. Now and then we would pass a car- 
penter shop with three or four men with beautiful 
bronze-muscled backs, working as Father Adam 
worked, except for a necktie around the waist; 
and once we passed four farmers in a field 
threshing rice with flails. They had great peaked 
straw hats tied under their chins, and were at it 
so hard that they did not look up to see us. 



26 LETTERS OF 

After fifteen minutes' walk we came to Na- 
kada's house, and, slipping off our shoes, we 
stepped in on the soft white mats. Mrs. Nakada, 
her sister-in-law, and her mother-in-law came 
in and met us, and then placed mats or cushions 
for us to sit on. The whole family, including our 
old friend, were in native costume, and none 
of the ladies could speak English. When they 
entered, they knelt and touched their foreheads 
to the floor, and whenever we spoke to them, 
they salaamed again and again. After we had 
talked a little while, Nakada asked us to stay to 
luncheon, and after the proper amount of refus- 
ing, we accepted, for it is an almost unheard-of 
opportunity to be allowed to dine with a Japa- 
nese gentleman at his house. He always enter- 
tains at a restaurant, as Dr. Sato did for us. 

We had been served with tea on our arrival 
as is always the custom, and now we had tea 
again. Then macaroni and buckwheat with a 
strange sauce; next roast fish, then two kinds of 
raw fish and rice, with several sweet cakes and 
some great luscious peaches, blood-red through 
to the stone. It was a regular family meal with- 
out any extra preparation; the ladies served us 
but ate separately. 

After dinner, Mrs. Nakada showed us her 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 27 

children's wardrobe. She has a boy of eleven 
and two of the dearest babies in Japan. Their 
clothes looked like butterflies' wings, they were 
so airy and delicate. She also showed us her 
wedding-dress, a kimono of blue crepe silk with 
her coat-of-arms on the back, a little blue chrys- 
anthemum. She is willing to sell it now as an 
offering towards the tabernacles they are going 
to build. We sent the family a box of cakes as 
a present, and I gave Juji a nice silk handker- 
chief, but they have put us under obligations 
that we cannot repay. Yoshinari gave me a 
drawing by a famous artist who lived a hundred 
years ago, and Nakada has not only given a 
great deal of his valuable time to us, but has 
hunted up two servants for us. We have seen 
both of the boys, but they do not report for ser- 
vice until to-morrow morning. I will write you 
all about them in my next letter. 

Another favor Naky did us was to give up an 
afternoon and take us to the great temple of 
Kwannon in Asakusa Park. The temple is al- 
most a thousand years old, and is very large and 
full of beautiful gilding and carving. The over- 
hanging eaves are so heavy with ornaments 
that you are almost afraid to pass beneath them. 
The temple is reached by passing through a gate 



28 LETTERS OF 

almost as high as Saginaw's proudest building 
block; that is, the superstructure is very high, 
the opening itself is ordinary size. 

The temple itself is reached by a long flight 
of steps, and inside and out on the porch are 
hung monster paper lanterns of all shapes, some 
of them as big as balloons, actually twenty feet 
high. It is a poor people's temple, and you don't 
have to take off your shoes. Inside are great jars 
of incense and many, many gods, for this is a 
Buddhist temple that has absorbed some Shinto 
deities. The most pathetic of all is the God of 
Healing. His features are all gone and his body 
is polished a beautiful ebony color from the 
rubbing of many hands. We saw people bring 
little children and rub first the god's eye and 
then the child's, or maybe the god's leg and then 
the child's little lame foot. In front of all these 
gods are platforms on which worshippers throw 
money. Often thousands of dollars a day are 
collected by the priests. 

It means a good deal to us strangers to have 
such dear friends as Nakada and Chambero 
have grown to be, and it is a great concession for 
them to give up so much time. Nakada is the 
most distinguished preacher in Japan. In Eng- 
land he is called the Japanese Moody, or the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 29 

Pocket Dynamo. We have heard him preach 
in English and Japanese, and he is a remarkable 
orator. He dresses in coolie costume for his 
workmen meetings, in student costume for his 
student meetings, samurai silks when he calls 
on noblemen, and foreign costume for the new 
fields to impress the people. He is a very pictur- 
esque figure in native dress. I enclose a picture 
of Naky and his family. The elderly lady is his 
mother. There are only seven native preachers 
in Japan that have had native mothers, and she 
is the mother of two of them. She is a wonder. 
Mrs. N. at the left is much prettier than her 
picture would indicate; she is quite a peach! 
I wish, father, that you would write him at the 
address I gave above and tell him how nice he 
has been. Also, if you can think of anything nice 
to send either himself or his Httle boy, it would 
be fine. I think maybe a five-pound box of 
Huyler's sent to Mr. Juji Nakada and Mr. Ugo 
Nakada in my name would be about the most 
suitable, for Jap boys don't use toys. The Jap- 
anese value such attentions much more than 
we do, and they would never forget it. 

I am glad that mother and my two economical 
sisters have not as yet had the misfortune to 
enter a Tokyo shop, for if they once got inside, 



30 LETTERS OF 

the Stark family would beg its bread for ever- 
more ! When you enter one of the fine shops, 
your shoes are either removed by an attendant 
or encased in a large cotton bag to each foot. 
Then tea is served you and cigarettes are passed. 
Afterwards a half dozen of the little brownie boys 
that are grown here by the hundred fly around 
like bees and unroll new beauties on each side, 
until your head is in a whirl. Silks and crepes 
heavy with great masses of embroidery, silver 
and bronze, velvets and ivories, pearls and clois- 
sonne. Three or four of the fellows have made 
purchases in the shops. I shan't tell you whether 
I have made any purchases or not; wait a year 
and see. Wheel After you have 
made your purchases, if you have 
no rickshaw of your own with 
you, the storekeeper usually sends 
you home in his, free of charge. 
We have seen several beautiful parks and 
temples, but they are all much ahke, and I will 
leave the temple subject until we reach Nikko. 
At present it is the people and the life that fasci- 
nate us. We have been twice to the Jiu-jitsu 
school by invitation of Baron Some-one-or-other, 
yesterday afternoon and to-day. The school is 
a large room carpeted with thick mats, and as 




GILBERT LITTLE STARK 31 

crowded with couples as a Chanty Ball. Although 
they are wrestling instead of dancing, there is 
a great deal more politeness shown than is cus- 
tomary at a ball. There are always a number 
sitting squatted along the wall, and when one 
man challenges another, he crouches on his 
knees in front of him and beats his head on the 
floor. A match closes in the same polite way. 
The remainder of time between the two bows 
is occupied in lifting each other high in the air 
and slamming one's opponent flat on his back 
on the floor. Before you enter the building you 
can hear this slamming process, and it sounds 
like a regiment of wash-ladies beating carpets. 
To-day we fell into conversation with a young 
wrestler who could speak English, and we dis- 
covered that there are three thousand pupils at 
the school — most of them students or college 
graduates. They are a fine-looking set of men. 
The jiu-jitsu is quite diflPerent from our wrestling, 
and there are three divisions to the art. First, 
to throw a man. Second, to break a limb or 
hit some vital spot. Third, to strangle him. 
This man was an expert, and gave us a fine 
exhibition illustrating the different holds; and 
when we left we exchanged cards and he said 
he hoped to correspond with us. There is only 



32 LETTERS OF 

one teacher in all this school, and the men 
practise with each other. They are divided 
into classes, according to their proficiency, 
and they are distinguished by different colored 
belts. 

Our stay in Tokyo has been pleasant in every 
way, and we are looking forward with a great 
deal of pleasure to returning to this hotel on the 
14th of August or about that time. To-morrow 
— the end of our first week here — we leave for 
Nikko, the most beautiful place in Japan, where 
all the finest temples are located. It is only about 
one hundred miles north, or less, but it takes 
five hours to reach there by train and is much 
higher. The country round about is very moun- 
tainous and is the summer district. We are plan- 
ning a trip from Nikko that will be almost the 
most pleasant part of our stay in this country. 
We are going from Nikko to Karinzawa on 
foot and horseback, with possibly a short day in 
rickshaws. The distance is about one hundred 
and thirty-five miles, the country is glorious and 
full of beautiful lakes and mountains, the people 
are interesting and almost unacquainted with 
foreigners, and the climate perfect. The trip in- 
cludes volcanoes, temples, hot mineral springs, 
and real rural life. I think we shall take about 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 33 

two weeks to the jaunt and then return direct 
to Tokyo from Karinzawa. 

After the 14th we expect to climb Fuji, then 
go straight to Kyoto and make that our head- 
quarters as we have Tokyo. You will probably 
hear next from me at Nikko, where we shall 
probably spend Sunday. 

I wish you could have seen us last night ! We 
had a farewell evening together, for Wally, Ted, 
and John leave for the North to-night, and we 
shall not meet again until we reach Kyoto. We 
went alone to a purely Japanese inn like the one 
where Dr. Sato entertained us. If the Maple 
Leaf was the Sherry's of Tokyo, then our last 
night's hostelry was Delmonico's. It is in the 
centre of a town block, and reached through a 
narrow alley, but is even bigger than the Maple 
Leaf, and the gardens that form interior courts 
are very beautiful. We rattled up in rickshaws 
and had our shoes removed by kneeling maidens. 
Then we were escorted to a room like the one I 
described before, only on the second floor, with 
a teak-wood balcony running the whole length 
and opening on to the garden. We had tea, cakes, 
and peaches, and a geisha apiece. We made up 
names for them, like Skidoo San and Cutey San 
(San means Miss), and spent the whole evening 



34 LETTERS OF 

learning Japanese. You would be surprised to 
see how well we get along. Not a soul in the 
place understood English, but we ordered every- 
thing we wanted, and carried on such lively 
and interesting conversation that it was 11.30 
before we knew it was 10. The geishas are the 
most entertaining little creatures I have ever 
seen. Two of our guests (for they are sent for 
and do not belong at the restaurant) were eight- 
een years old and two seventeen ; none of them 
were over four and one half feet tall. Their hair 
was elaborately done, and their costumes of 
beautiful soft-colored silks. We played children's 
games again, and five-in-a-row, which we had 
learned on the boat, and learned a Japanese 
song, in return for which we taught them " Here 's 
to good old Yale, drink her down ! '' We tried to 
teach them the two-step, and I wish you could 
have seen them learning with those tight kimonos 
around their feet and their great big sashes. It 
was interesting to see the deference paid to the 
geishas by the maids of the house. They bowed 
to them as they did to us. 

When we left, we had the whole house on its 
knees in the door and the same gale of laughter 
as before. Each geisha left at the same time, in 
charge of the old woman who trains and chap- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 35 

erons her. This restaurant was called the Moon 
and Flower. 

More love than ever to all. 

Your loving son, Gilbert. 

Chuzenji, Japan, August 5, 1907. 

Dear Familie, — Nippon Banzai ! I have 
found the place where I shall spend my honey- 
moon. It is named Nikko, and is one of the most 
perfect combinations of the best that man and 
nature can do. 

On last Friday we left Tokyo, with many 
regrets, and boarded a second-class compart- 
ment for Nikko — a five hours' ride to the 
north. We were the only foreigners on the train, 
and our travelling companions were two or 
three Japanese gentlemen and a rather elderly 
female party who smoked tobacco continually in 
a funny little Japanese pipe, which she had to 
keep filling after every second pufF. The guard 
in our car was a good-looking youth of nineteen, 
and, as is always my custom in foreign lands, 
I fell a-talking with him. He knew almost as 
many English words as I know Japanese, so we 
had a lively time. He was a bit shy at first, but 
after a few applications of my effective taming 
process, (equally useful with all races, wild or 



36 LETTERS OF 

mild) he thawed and flew to his baggage, from 
which he produced an English dictionary. Like 
hundreds of other young men, he is studying 
English in all his spare moments, without even 
a grammar, nothing but a dictionary. We dis- 
cussed the San Francisco trouble, in humorous 
vein, and he said that all young men looked to 
America as their ideal, and that we would grow 
closer and closer in spite of difficulties. I shook 
hands with him on leaving, and he was quite 
overcome. His name was Handa. 

Nikko is in the mountains at the mouth of a 
very picturesque valley. To the southeast you 
look off over the low foot-hills ; and on all sides 
and up the valley are very high, magnificently 
wooded hills. The trees are mostly cryptomeria, 
and are the only trees I have ever seen that equal 
the beauty of the sugar-pine forests. The village 
is a small one, six thousand souls, and is com- 
posed of a few straggling hill streets lined with 
open-work houses and fascinating curio shops. 
A small wooden bridge answers to allow ordi- 
nary humans to cross the Daija Garva (River), 
and a stone's throw above it is the famous red 
lacquer bridge that you have seen so many pic- 
tures of, and across which no one but royalty is 
allowed to go. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK ^1 

In all directions lead fascinating paths and 
tiny roads bordered and roofed with these giant, 
cedar-like cryptomerias. At about ten minutes* 
walk from our hotel is a group of low wooded 
hills, and these hills are crowned with a collec- 
tion of the most beautiful temples in Japan. 
They were built about three hundred years ago, 
and contain the bodies of the first Shogun, leyasu, 
and his grandson, and represent the climax of 
Japanese art in architecture, painting, bronze, 
lacquer, and gold-work and wood-carving. 

You wander shoeless and open-mouthed past 
dragons and chimeras and more strange and 
famihar beasts than Mrs. Noah ever saw; over 
soft matted floors and across lacquered porches 
that are like red ice ; through gates heavy with 
giant figures and blazing with red and black and 
gold; up long flights of stone steps, hundreds of 
them, with moss-covered stone balustrades, from 
shrine to shrine, among more gods than there 
are poor relations in the world. 

The temple of leyemitsu pleased me most. I 
visited it twice, and spent about an hour there 
each time. To reach it, you pass through gate 
after gate, through gardens, past shrines and 
holy springs, and up hundreds of stone steps; all 
this after entering the temple grounds. Finally, 



38 LETTERS OF 

on the highest point possible is the temple. A 
simple oblong building with overhanging eaves, 
so heavy with carving that the sag in the roof- 
beams seems the most natural thing in the world, 
and surrounded by a red lacquer porch. The 
interior is all one room, bare of furniture except 
for a row along one wall of Buddhist bibles, each 
in an inlaid box on an inlaid stand. Directly 
facing the entrance is a shrine in a deep recess. 
This shrine has beautiful gold doors at the back, 
behind which are some sacred relics. In the 
centre of the recess are three wonderful bronze 
dwarfs kneeling on the floor and holding great 
pure gold bowls above their heads. These bowls 
are filled with a great mass of lilies that perfume 
the whole temple. Along the main wall on each 
side of the shrine-opening are corresponding 
figures. First, a bronze vase with black lacquer 
across the mouth to imitate water, full of pure 
gold lotus flowers. The vase and flowers are 
about seven feet high. Next, a gold heron, some 
six feet high, standing on a bronze tortoise; an- 
other vase with lacquer water and gold cherry- 
blossoms and willow branches, then great bronze 
lanterns presented by the King of Korea. The 
whole interior was no larger than an ordinary 
drawing-room, but every available inch was 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 39 

completely and elaborately finished. The wall 
and ceiHng panels are Chinese dragons in gold 
and color by Kano, a very famous artist. The 
detail is the most elaborate I have ever seen, and 
yet the first and last impression is extreme sim- 
plicity. All you see at first sight is the beautiful 
blending of colors and the great gold bowls of 
lilies. 

NiKKO, Wednesday, August 17th. 
I Started this letter at Chuzenji, a little moun- 
tain lake some forty-nine hundred feet above 
the sea and about ten miles from Nikko. We had 
started on a hundred-mile walking trip through 
Ikao to Karmizawa in the mountains, but at 
Chuzenji, our first stop, we found a very heavy 
rain that has been lasting several days already, 
and every one told us it would be a waste of time 
to attempt the mountain-passes, as we should 
not be able to see a thing. So, hke the King of 
France, we all marched down again to Nikko. 
The Chuzenji road was very interesting. Pretty 
waterfalls, and now and then a wide mountain 
prospect that was truly magnificent. The forest 
growth is very luxuriant, and not unlike our own 
woods except for the flowering vines that climb 
way up into the trees, and the feathery clumps of 



40 LETTERS OF 

bamboo — so light a green that they look almost 
yellow against the dark pines. 

Our boy Tom was a failure. He was a great 
success as a mirth-provoker and would be a 
wonderful attraction for any side-show, but as 
a servant, he was about as much use as a clothes- 
pin would be in the same capacity. He was 
short, and twenty one. . . . His hair was long, 
horribly long, and parted in the middle because 
he considered that mode of coiffure very for- 
eign. His knowledge of English was infinitely 
small. 

He was willing; oh, how willing he was ! But 
he did not understand just what was wanted. 
When we came to Nikko, Hervey stayed in 
Tokyo another day to be tattooed, and I left 
Tom for him, as Am.'s servant — a corker — 
was going with me. Hervey gave Tom twenty 
yen, out of which Tom was supposed to pay little 
things like rickshaw fares and trips. Tom im- 
mediately spent the whole amount in presents 
for Hervey. A set of silver knives, two glass 
tumblers, a can of peaches, and a box of coffee, 
and a second-hand English book on Japanese 
export trade published about 1870! Nothing 
could stop him. 

The first morning that I had him I started out 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 41 

walking and he followed. I explained in the 
choicest English that he was to wait at the hotel. 
He said he understood. I walked on; he fol- 
lowed. I explained the same thing over in Jap- 
anese; he said he understood. I walked on; he 
followed. For three mortal hours he dogged my 
footsteps, and every five minutes he asked what 
time it was. When we passed anything that he 
knew the English name for, he would pluck my 
sleeve: — "Horse, master, it ees so.?'' "Every 
morn he brought us" — no, not violets, but 
black-eyed Susans and queer flowers that he 
gathered by the wayside. It was pitiful, and we 
always felt sorry for him — after we had gotten 
into bed at night and did not have him around 
to drive us wild. 

We might have stood the creature, for he was 
devoted to us, but worst of all he was a Christian. 
I suppose that shocks you, but if you had had 
a Christian of his stamp tagging about, you 
would pray for pagans all the rest of your life. 
He asked us what time it was, as I mentioned 
before, every five minutes, and every three min- 
utes he asked when we were going to pray. It 
was his custom to walk through the streets be- 
hind us clapping his hands and singing Christian 
anthems at the top of his lungs. Hervey and I 



42 LETTERS OF 

would stride along in front, boiling with rage, 
and keeping step against our will. He would 
also fan us as we walked along, no matter how 
cool the day, and when he was n't singing he 
was crooning, "Master's boy. Master's boy!" 
In our room we could get no privacy, he was 
always on hand trying to amuse us. He had a 
frightful habit of whistling hymns on a leaf by 
the hour, and when that did not seem to amuse 
us, he would stand on his head or walk on his 
hands. Whenever we said anything that he did 
not understand, he would sigh deeply, and, slap- 
ping his chest, he would remark that his heart 
was heavy. As he did not understand anything 
we said, his heart weighed a great deal most of 
the time. I found the only way to cheer him was 
to clap my hands and shriek "Hallelujah V sev- 
eral times. Then he would shake his long hair 
and cry, "Glory, glory, my heart he sings!" 
He also prayed often aloud, kneeling by a chair. 
When he was hungry, when we did not under- 
stand him, and when it rained, were his stock 
occasions for bursting into prayer. He also wept 
about once a day. We called him Tearful 
Tommy, or the Great God Pan, because of his 
leaf-whistling tendencies. Yesterday Hervey 
started for Tokyo with him, and he intends to 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 43 

leave him in that great city, returning to Ikao 
by rail to-morrow. We leave here to-morrov7 at 
6.20 A. M. for the same place. I am glad to 
escape the great weeping and praying scene. 
When he gives Tom the shake, I quite pity Her- 
vey. Poor Tom, — a good creature, but a poor, 
foolish, weak-headed heathen. More so than any 
Buddhist I have met. Next I shall write you 
about Minto, my bell-boy friend. 
Good-night. Lots of love, 

Gilbert. 

Ikao, Japan, August 8, 1907. 

Dear Ones, — After I mailed the letter to 

you yesterday, I fell into conversation with a 

young American boy who is coming home from 

Germany, via Japan, with his mother and sister. 

His name is W B , and he is a cousin of 

W W of New York, who was in my 

class. He is going to Yale. He and I ordered 
horses, although there was a slight drizzle, and 
rode to a beautiful waterfall — Kirifuri — high up 
in the mountains. We took all day for the jaunt 
and carried our luncheon with us, eating part 
of it at a little wayside tea-house, with all the 
family sitting around to watch and no one who 
could speak Enghsh within miles, and the rest 



44 LETTERS OF 

of it at the foot of the falls. A coolie boy came 
with us to carry our luncheon and look after the 
horses, and he ran practically all day long. As 
the path was a steep one, fully as difficult as the 
Yosemite paths, although not so dangerous, the 
feat was no mean one. It is marvellous what 
these people can do, and I wish you could see 
the kind of people that these mountains produce. 
They are larger than those of the plains, and 
darker, some of them almost after-dinner-coffee 
color, but they all have red cheeks and very 
white teeth. The views on the way were even 
better than those on the Chuzenji roads. Am. 
and Purdy had started on the mountain trip a 
day ahead of us, and the rain evidently did not 
start soon enough to turn them back; Scurve 
had left for Tokyo the day before to get rid of 
Kaniko — or the great god Pan — so that I was 
alone in Nikko for two nights. 

This morning I left Nikko at nine o'clock, with 
many regrets, and took the train for Mayebashi. 
At Mayebashi, at about three this afternoon, I 
boarded a little horse-car, not quite so large as 
a Fifth Avenue 'bus, and rode for two hours up 
a very steep track to the mountain village of 
Shibukawa. The car was crowded with Japa- 
nese ; there were only six, but they were at least 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 45 

two too many for the size of the car. The road 
was full of children along the whole way. It 
seems that, when these mountain infants reach 
the age of ten or twelve, they attain the dignity 
of a string around the waist; clothes come at 
about fourteen ! 

At Shibukawa I chartered a rickshaw with 
two strong mountain boys to pull me, and for 
two more hours we climbed up to this little 
nest in the hill. Just as it was getting dark we 
stopped at a wayside tea-house for a little rest. 
Both the boys and I had tea, and I had a little 
dish of sweets, and when I gave the old lady 
twenty-five sen, the equivalent of twelve and 
one half American cents, she nearly bent double 
with gratitude. While we were resting, a* ter- 
rific flash of lightning shot down into a clump 
of bamboos just behind us, and the thun- 
der was deafening and almost instantaneous. 
It threw the tea-house into great commotion, 
and people ran about like ants in a broken ant- 
hill. 

» 

The rest of my trip I made in the dark and 
in the rain, so I have seen nothing of the place 
or the surroundings; more of them anon. This 
hotel is really a Japanese inn, but the hostess, 
a fine, cheery, bustling little woman who speaks 



46 LETTERS OF 

good English, has installed all the European 
comforts that even a finicky woman could 
desire. There are only rooms for about twelve 
European guests, however, and as they are full, 
I am in a Japanese room. I hear vague broken- 
English rumors that Hervey has arrived and has 
been put up at another inn, but it is too late 
and rainy to investigate. Am. and Purdy are still 
on the way somewhere. Wally, Ted, and John 
have gone on to Kyoto, where we shall join them 
later. 

Now about Mino, the hotel boy I spoke of 
in my last letter. He is just one of the boys of all 
work around the hotel, his main business being 
to show people the way to near-by spots of in- 
terest. He is fifteen, and a perfect type of the 
healthy Japanese school-boy. 

The first night we were at Nikko, Purdy and 
I put on Japanese costumes, that we had pur- 
chased in Tokyo, and stole out of the hotel by 
a back way. There was a troop of wandering 
minstrels and sword-dancers performing under 
the light of the hotel porte-cochere, so we squat- 
ted down in the shadow of the porch to watch 
them; Mino saw us and sat down beside us, 
thinking that we were real Jappies; when he 
found his mistake, he was very audibly amused. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 47 

He felt us all over and asked the usual polite 
questions about the cost of the goods, and then 
volunteered to go put on his kimono, for he had 
on a little white jacket. We agreed to v^ait, and 
he soon came back crov^ing over us because his 
best kimono, which he had donned in our honor, 
cost twice as much as ours. He took us for a 
long walk through the town, and everywhere 
we were greeted with cheery "Kumbamwaz" 
(good-evening). 

The acquaintance that we thus started grew 
rapidly, for Mino did not leave us again while 
we were at Nikko, and mighty good fun we 
had together, too, singing native songs that he 
taught us and holding long talks with the Bud- 
dhist priests in some out-of-the-way temple. 
Mino talks very fair English and our Japanese 
is progressing, so we got along beautifully. 

The night before I left, Mino slipped into my 
room just before I had started to go to bed, and 
gave me a little cardboard painted with a Nikko 
scene, on which he had written his name. I gave 
him my card and a few old neckties, whereat he 
was quite overcome and disappeared for a mo- 
ment, returning with his photograph, which he 
presented to me. He insisted on knowing every 
single place we were going to, and said them 



48 LETTERS OF 

over until he had learned them by heart. " Please 
— a letter," he asked. He wanted to come with 
us, and sniffled a little when he said good-by, 
also hugged me around the waist. 

He is very anxious to come to America when 

he is twenty-one. W was so taken with him 

that he talked a good deal about trying to smug- 
gle him in, and asked him one day if he would 
come back home with him. The kid turned to 
me and said, " Is it true ? " I think that all of us 
will miss him for several days. 

All the servants at the Kanaya hotel at Nikko 
are related to each other and come from village 
families. They are like feudal retainers, loyal 
to the last chap, and Mr. Kanaya told me that 
they have to watch them to see that they don't 
overwork. He keeps sixty servants all winter, 
although the hotel is closed, and every night he 
teaches them English and Japanese history. He 
is only twenty-six, and some of his servants have 
been with his family thirty-five years. His 
younger brother (twenty-five years old) is one 
of the best wrestlers in Japan, and teaches the 
men-servants, and even the little boys, jiu-jitsu 
every afternoon; all the guests go out to watch. 
He showed me some holds, and every time the 
porter, a burly brute, came to my room for shoes 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 49 

we had a bout. Long live Nikko ! you must all 
go there some day. 

Lovingly, Gilbert. 

Tokyo, Japan, August, 14, 1907. 

Dear Ones, — In my last letter I think I had 
just arrived at Ikao and had seen nothing of the 
place. After I sent the letter off to you, I took 
a hot bath and w^ent to bed. The bath was a 
wooden hole in the floor, waist-deep and almost 
big enough to swim in. You know it is the fash- 
ion for several Japanese to get in the same tub 
at once, all ages, sizes, and sexes at the same 
time. So far, however, we have always been 
able to have a bath to ourselves. The water is 
always hot, and at Ikao it was hotter than usual, 
for the water boils out of the ground in hot min- 
eral springs and flows steaming through stone 
gutters in every street in the village. It flowed 
along the outside wall of our hotel, and the 
method of drawing a bath is simply to pull a 
stopper out of the wall and let the hot water 
gush in from outside. 

Am. and Purdy showed up in the morning and 
Scurve moved down to our hotel. Our rooms 
were Japanese style, no windows, only sliding 
paper screens; and the wall screens were bare 



50 LETTERS OF 

of ornament but covered with silk like that in 

Mrs. H 's drawing-room. At this hotel they 

gave us the luxury of real beds. At one end the 
screens opened on a polished teak-v^ood porch, 
just beyond which was the steep hillside; at the 
other end they opened on a balcony, from which 
we looked across the roofs of the village just 
below us out over the wide valley of the Tone- 
gawa, some two thousand feet below. Across the 
valley rose a huge wall of rocky hills and one 
monster of a dead volcano — Akagi San. 

The village itself has one main street that runs 
straight down the hill. It is called a street by 
courtesy, for it is in reality a long flight of broad 
granite steps over two hundred feet in height; 
that is, there is a difference of two hundred feet 
in the level of the top and bottom steps. The 
houses overhang these steps, and the gutters on 
each side send up clouds of steam, for the water 
in them is almost boiling. Strange little inns, 
houses, baths, and curio shops line the street, 
and the village peters out in little side alleys in 
all directions. 

At our hotel, which has been the leading 
hostelry for three hundred years, there were 
twelve Europeans, mostly residents in Japan, up 
for the whole summer, and one hundred and 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 51 

fifty Japanese guests. Ikao is the leading sum- 
mer resort for Japanese people. There are about 
six hundred spending the vacation there, and 
they are all a very nice class of people. You see 
the population of the village is practically dou- 
bled during the season. There is nothing to do 
at Ikao but walk and bathe, but the walks are 
fine, and the baths, which are used about three 
times a day, very refreshing in spite of their 
heat. 

Paths lead in every direction among the hills, 
some of them long, steep climbs and some almost 
level. Whichever way you go, you are sure to find 
a little temple and a little tea-house. There is 
almost every kind of scenery, — wild rocks and 
steep cliffs; long, grassy, highland moors covered 
with masses of wild lilies and bluebells big as 
asters; fine old pine forests and little thickets 
around stream-beds, where you can always find 
a cuckoo or Japanese nightingale that is willing 
to sing; and every now and then you come to a 
natural vapor-bath or hot pool, where people are 
bathing, or the path leads you to a dizzy look- 
out, from which you could almost throw a stone 
down for three thousand feet, and where a mag- 
nificent panorama miles in length is unrolled 
before you. 



52 LETTERS OF 

These hills are full of people on a bright day, 
for although the country is practically uninhab- 
ited, the summer population of Ikao climb the 
high hills behind it every day. They go together 
in families and take it slowly, not as we do, to get 
to their destination, but as one ought to do — 
making the walk an end not a means. They stop 
often and sit, while the little girls chase the butter- 
flies which they themselves rival in bright colors, 
and the little boys scramble up the nearest rocks, 
and the big boy whose hakama tells that he is a 
student, probably at the University, gathers in- 
sects with a long net or studies some root with 
his microscope. Father tucks his kimono in his 
belt and sits down fanning his bare brown legs, 
and mother and mother-in-law get their breath 
and gossip, or pull a couple of big peaches out 
of their sleeves and daintily fall to. 

Towards night they all turn homewards, 
dragging great masses of wild lilies or an arm- 
ful of flowering branches. Not a pair of trou- 
sers or an ugly collar besides our own to mar the 
countryside. A great many of the gentlemen 
and even more of the boys (who were mostly 
students) could talk English, and we had many 
pleasant though halting conversations with 
chance acquaintances in the hills. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 53 

On Monday we returned to Tokyo, and yester- 
day we visited Kamakura, to see the Daibutsu, 
of which I am sending you some post-cards. It is 
more impressive than one can realize without 
seeing all the surroundings and setting. Kama- 
kura is a little fishing village on the seashore and 
is very picturesque. 

I should have saved the word picturesque for 
the island of Enoshima, some three miles fur- 
ther down the coast. We reached it by train, 
and then walked across a narrow neck of land, 
which is exposed only at low tide, and found 
ourselves on an island that I should judge is a 
mixture of the beauties of both Saint Michel 
and Capri. 

Along the shore stretches a tiny fishing vil- 
lage, most of the inhabitants swimming or lying 
on the beach au naturel. The sides are steep and 
rocky, and the whole island not more than a mile 
across. As you walk around the top, you catch 
beautiful glimpses of the bay and sea through 
deep gorges and between the branches of gnarled 
pines and laurels which frame every view on the 
island. We took luncheon at a Japanese inn 
with a broad view, perched on the very edge of 
the cliff; then walked across the island and 
climbed down to some great broad rocks, from 



54 LETTERS OF 

which we entered and explored the famous 
caves of Enoshima. These caves are supposed 
to have an underground connection with Fuji, 
for a man who was pursued by his enemies once 
vanished down the crater of Fuji and appeared 
at Enoshima. Sounds Hke the legend of the lake, 
does n't it ? The caves are very old, and with 
our candles we could see strange carvings and 
stone idols from times far gone. One idol was 
in the form of a great coiled snake ! A prehistoric 
relic indeed. 

When we came out on the rock, we were 
surrounded by a group of men and boys, the 
oldest probably seventy and the youngest ten. 
They were in the usual dishabille peculiar to the 
Japanese seacoast, which may be described as 
being absolute, and their natural dark red color 
(for the lower classes are as dark as our Indians) 
was sunburned to a negro black. Despite their 
wild look they were very pleasant and most 
polite, and requested us to throw a small coin 
into the sea for them to swim after. We amused 
ourselves to about the extent of ten cents and 
then left them. They are very expert at diving 
for money and never fail to get it. 

The other fellows left early in the afternoon 
for Yokohama, where they had business to attend 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 55 

to, but as I had nothing to do and was charmed 
with our Japanese inn, I spent the night on the 
island, leaving this morning at 7.30 and reach- 
ing Tokyo at 9 a. m., about half an hour ago or 
longer. 

The inn at Enoshima was a large one, but of 
very simple construction. It was built around a 
court, the fourth side of which was the edge of 
the cliff. The three wings were connected by 
covered galleries and were two stories high. All 
the rooms opened on to the court and had the 
benefit of the beautiful view and cool breeze. 
The screens are left open all day, so from the 
court inside, the hotel looked like a double row 
of paper caves or a long dolls' house. Outside 
of each room runs the usual polished teak-wood 
porch. Of course there was no decoration in my 
room — spotless mats, silk-paper walls, with 
cherry-blossom design in soft colors, in the usual 
sacred niche a bronze cat, and a tall vase with 
one flowering branch. The meals were delicious. 
Lobster and fresh fish (all cooked, for a wonder), 
soup, bean paste, potatoes, and eggs — almost 
like a European meal, and a very dainty little 
maid to serve it. 

In the later afternoon I was sitting on the 
opposite side of the island, under an arbor, 



56 LETTERS OF 

drinking the inevitable tea and thinking that if 
there were only a very high mountain this might 
be the Bay of Naples, when suddenly, above the 
line of clouds in the west, appeared the crest of 
Fuji. Our first meeting. It was bare of snow, but 
none the less beautiful. Perfect, symmetrical, 
too well proportioned and finished to look real 
— it put the period to my first impressions of 
Japan, and now I feel that I have really and 
completely reached Japan; without Fuji there 
was something lacking. 

I went back to my inn at about five, bathed, 
and donned the kimono that is always brought 
a guest, and kept it on until I left this morning. 
A kimono and nothing else is a very sensible and 
comfortable thing. I sat squatted on my mat- 
floor near the open side of the room, drinking 
tea and enjoying the view, with a maid to fan me. 
Several of the guests dropped in to talk, most 
of them high-class gentlemen or students; one 
little schoolboy could talk quite a lot of Eng- 
lish. The evening I spent in the court, under an 
arbor of wisteria, talking with three Chinese stu- 
dents from Tokyo who had the room next to me. 
They could talk excellent Japanese, and one of 
them knew a few German words. I wish you 
could have seen us; three Chinamen and an 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 57 

American, clad in nothing but gossamer kimo- 
nos, sitting on the clifF of a beautiful island and 
talking Japanese! 

I think we shall leave for Kyoto on Friday or 
Saturday, this being Wednesday. 

Lots of love, Gilbert. 

Just another word. Railway travel here is very 
interesting and quite comfortable, although it 
is usually hot as Tophet (Aunt Lydia, you taught 
me that naughty expression). We always go 
second-class and usually take luncheon with us, 
buying a pot of tea from a station hawker at 
some stop near noon. This tea is very refresh- 
ing, and costs one and a quarter American cents 
a pot. It is Japanese tea of course, green and 
without milk or sugar. We have grown very fond 
of it, and prefer it to the Ceylon tea as a general 
thing. Japanese railroad scenery is principally 
little straw-thatched villages, connected by broad 
rice-fields that are hemmed in by little fantastic 
hills. Now and then a grove of pines, a stream 
full of laughing children, a lonely fisherman sit- 
ting by a pool about the size of Simple Simon's 
tub or "mother's pail," and whenever you pass a 
clump of trees, above the noise of the train you 
can hear the shrill crickets or cicalas; this noise 



58 LETTERS OF 

is the background of Japanese life, so constant 
that you become unconscious of it. 

Love, Gilbert. 

Kyoto, Japan, August i8, 1907. 
Ho-ho! ho-ho! That is the way the Devil used 
to make his entrance on the Elizabethan stage, 
and as I feel very devilish this morning, I adopt 
it. Ho-ho ! — one and all — ho-ho ! Our trip 
in Japan has been a steady climax. Tokyo was 
worth three Yokohamas. Nikko was the most 
ideal place I have ever seen, and now Kyoto — ! ! 
Kyoto is almost halfway across Japan, and the 
trip here took from 8 a. m. until 7.30 P. M. Our 
train was an express, and because it was liable 
to be crowded, we took first-class tickets last 
Friday morning, Scurve, Purdy, and I; Am. is 
still in Tokyo waiting for some permits to visit 
things here that the Embassy has promised us. 
We checked our baggage, saving only the little 
pieces to carry, but Scurve's outfit is so elaborate 
that we found a perfect stream of luggage shoot- 
ing through the car window — three porters 
outside and two inside; it piled up on the seat 
like grain from a hopper, and when the storm 
cleared, we counted eleven pieces, great and 
small. The car was crowded, but our many side 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 59 

issues made such a tremendous hit with the train 
boy that he led us to a compartment which we 
occupied without extra charge. Then he re- 
moved our shoes and brought us slippers, and 
about once an hour he looked in with a brush 
and polished something, he did n't care what, so 
long as he was polishing. 

The railroad leads along an old highway, 
the Tokkaido, which connected Kyoto and 
Tokyo, and was the most famous road in this 
empire of footpaths. We travelled for a long 
time around the base of Fuji, but its top was 
heavily cloaked with storms. We have given up 
the ascent because it has been in clouds for days, 
and we could not wait around for it to clear. 
There is no use going up in a storm, for not only 
is it disagreeable, but you may go up and down 
without even having seen the mountain you are 
climbing. 

Kyoto was the capital and Emperor's home 
for years and years, until Commodore Perry put 
an end to the old Shogun's rule and restored the 
lost power to the Emperor by opening the coun- 
try to new ideas. It lies in a level basin sur- 
rounded by high, closely-wooded hills. The 
basin is not quite large enough to hold it all, so 
some of the parks and villas and temples have 



6o LETTERS OF 

climbed up the hillside out of the way and tried 
to hide in the forest. Our hotel is quite high and 
just out of the town. It is a low, rambling build- 
ing, one and two stories high, and it sprawls over 
the hill like a weasel stretching. It is full of court- 
yards and galleries and bridges, with high stone 
terraces on one side and a big Japanese garden 
stretching up the hill behind. You can start at 
the office and turn forty corners, cross a bridge, 
and climb four flights of stairs, and still find 
yourself on the ground floor. 

Every time we come in from a walk or rick- 
shaw ride, a boy for each of us springs out into 
the courtyard and rubs our shoes with a cloth. 
Yesterday another boy stood behind me to fan, 
and he fanned so hard I almost blew away. I 
could feel my cowlick sticking straight up in the 
breeze. These two youths escorted me to the 
toilet-room and drew water for me, brushed me 
and fanned me while I washed, offered me a 
towel and fanned me while I used it; then es- 
corted me to a seat and brought me mineral 
water ! 

The sights here are so many and varied that it 
would take weeks to see them all. Most of them 
are placed around on the hills in a circle about 
the city, and if one ever finished the sights of the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 6i 

city, there are dozens of delightful walks and 
whole day trips in the neighborhood; and after 
that — this is the centre for visits to Nara, 
Kobe, and Osaka — the garden of Japan, the 
Japanese call it. 

The city is very quiet, and the only noises we 
hear in our rooms are the usual roarings of lions 
in the Zoo, hidden among trees at our right, or 
the booming of some beautiful bell from one of 
the innumerable temples. These bells are of 
bronze and many of them cast in Korea; they are 
never rung, for they have no clappers, — they 
are struck by long wooden beams swung at their 
sides like battering-rams, and the sound is as deli- 
cate and clear as a silver gong, but you can hear 
it miles away. The streets of Kyoto are narrow 
and have no sidewalks ; but why should they .? 
They are cleaner than many sidewalks at home. 
I have seen only two horses so far in Kyoto, and 
they were on a carriage that the hotel owns. The 
heavy loads are pulled almost entirely by men, 
with all their sons pushing behind. Now and 
then a great ox shoulders his way through the 
crowd, dragging a heavy truck. The architec- 
ture is all old-fashioned and pure Japanese, and 
the people were more polite and simple than any 
we have met. 



62 LETTERS OF 

The town is intersected by little canals of swift, 
clear water, and they are used as baths by the 
people living along the banks. Any time of day 
you can see two or three people splashing about 
whenever you cross a canal. The river is a pretty 
one, shallow but swift. In it are many little 
islands and pebbly sand-bars. These are con- 
nected by bamboo bridges and covered with the 
low, matted tables that the Japanese tea-house 
offers for seats, and at night the people sit about 
and gossip in the river-bed, drinking their tea 
and listening to a group of musicians or singing 
girls. 

Saturday was our first morning in Kyoto, and 
Purdy and I started out to visit some of the tem- 
ples near the hotel. We saw first the Chion-in 
Temple, which turned out to be the largest we 
have seen in Japan. It was built by the same 
man who designed the Nikko temples, but all of 
the temples at Nikko could, I think, be placed 
inside this one. Of course, the Chion-in Temple 
has not the elaborate finish of the Nikko mau- 
soleums, but it has more dignity and impressive 
power. While the Nikko temples are all of red 
lacquer, this one is only bare, weather-stained 
wood, but the effect of this dark wood and the 
darker bronze work on its surface is beyond the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 63 

powers of art to imitate. It was not painted be- 
cause the work was esteemed so complete that no 
ornament was needed. Behind the temple is an- 
other large building, a sort of a monastery, con- 
nected by a covered porch with the main temple. 
In it is one large hall, three hundred and twenty 
mats long, and a number of small rooms that 
have been occupied by famous abbots and em- 
perors. The screen decoration is marvellous. 
Pine-tree branches loaded with snow, bamboo 
forests, cranes, storks, landscapes, all in the 
most delicate coloring and all about three hun- 
dred years old. In one room is painted a flight of 
sparrows, but the sparrows were so real they flew 
away, and you can only see slight marks on the 
screen where they have been. The porches are 
all built to give a musical sound as you walk 
over them; that is known to Japanese as the 
"nightingale squeak." 

In the evening we attended a festival at Kio- 
midzu-Dera, or Temple, but as I must stop now, 
I will send this letter and start another about the 
festival later. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 



64 LETTERS OF 

Kyoto, August 19, 1907. 

Dear Family, — My last letter closed, I be- 
lieve, just as I was about to visit Kiomidzu-Dera. 
In the afternoon v^e took rickshaws up a series of 
narrow streets, full of life, to the foot of a very- 
steep lane, where we descended and commenced 
to walk. Old men, nurses for babies, and Bud- 
dhist nuns with shaved heads were abroad in 
plenty that afternoon. The steep street which 
led up the hill was lined with shops full of crock- 
ery and porcelain — ^ Teapot Lane, it is called. 
At the top of the hill we found a collection of 
temple buildings, galleries, and courtyards, over- 
hanging a beautiful valley and giving a fine view 
of the cities. That day happened to be the most 
important festival day of the temple year, so the 
crowd was enormous. At every shrine were mul- 
titudes of worshippers, and the soft gongs and 
droning of the priests mingled with the laughter 
and joking of the crowd. Everywhere was the 
smell of incense, and candles twinkled in the 
dark temple recesses, while outdoors the sun was 
very bright. A Japanese crowd is never noisy 
or disagreeable ; it is more orderly than an Ameri- 
can sewing-circle meeting or church supper. 

On the way back to the hotel I bought some 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 65 

tahi or Japanese socks, with the big toe sepa- 
rate. At the shop where I bought them was a 
very bright, attractive young fellow who could 
speak a few English words. After dinner all the 
fellows went again to the Kiomidzu Temple, but 
I waited at the hotel and then walked out alone. 
The beauty of Japan is that there is no rowdy or 
mucker class, and even a lady can walk through 
the narrowest, darkest streets at night and meet 
only with drawing-room courtesy. I walked for 
about half an hour, not much caring about di- 
rection, and I came out in front of the Gion 
Temple, which I recognized. A few doors down 
the street was the shop where I bought my 
tabi, and on the bench in front were the old 
couple that own it, enjoying the life of the 
street. When I passed, they recognized me and 
bowed very low. I walked down a little past 
them and then retraced my steps, and when 
I passed the second time, they rose and invited 
me to sit on their bench. As I take every chance 
for an adventure I sat down, and I wish you 
could have seen me. There I was in this narrow 
street, with paper lanterns of all colors vanish- 
ing in long lines in both directions, and the 
street full of light from the little open-faced 
houses and shops along the sides. At my right 



66 LETTERS OF 

the old gentleman and at my left the old lady, 
a true old-school housewife, with her teeth 
blackened. Both were standing and both were 
fanning me for dear life, and whenever I looked 
in their direction, they would laugh and bow. 
In front, a crowd of ten or fifteen children star- 
ing open-mouthed. Behind, the children of the 
family, all interested in the American visitor. I 
ventured my few Japanese phrases, which were 
received with great pleasure and surprise and 
many polite compliments on my cleverness — 
the usual convention. The old lady disappeared 
and returned with a picture of her eldest son, a 
student in San Francisco, and then she showed 
me his diploma from some business college there. 
Soon the nice youth who had waited on me in the 
afternoon appeared, and when I asked the way 
to the Kiomidzu Temple, he went with me. The 
evening crowd was even more interesting than 
that of the afternoon, and the boy — Kizo, Kizo 
Moni — showed me a little waterfall of very cold 
water. We descended to its foot and there found 
a crowd of devotees, some standing underneath 
the cold stream, others waiting their turn. They 
are supposed to acquire great merit by shivering 
in the water for fifteen or twenty minutes. 
I found Kizo one of the brightest, nicest Jap- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 67 

anese that I have met. He is going to join his 
brother in San Francisco next year. 

Yesterday morning I was dressing in a lei- 
surely fashion when I received a note from J 

V to hurry down, as we were all invited to 

spend the day with Mr. Tshii and Mr. Inagake, 
some people to whom he had letters. They es- 
corted us to the train in rickshaws, and there 
some of their servants helped to settle us in a 
comfortable compartment. We rode for about 
an hour on the train, and then alighted at a coun- 
try station where another servant was waiting 
for us with eight rickshaws. A short drive 
brought us to the shore of a beautiful little river, 
the Hodzu Gawa, where we stepped into a long 
Japanese boat manned by three oarsmen, two 
steersmen, and a man in the bow with a bamboo 
pole to keep us clear of rocks. For an hour and 
a half we shot down the river through a deep 
gorge and over boiling mill-races and rapids; it 
was just like automobiling, and quite exciting, 
to say nothing of the picturesque scenery and 
the interesting human and animal life along the 
shores. 

At the end of our trip we found the Arashima 
tea-house, famous for cherry blossoms in the 
spring and maples in the fall. There we had an 



68 LETTERS OF 

excellent Japanese luncheon, and afterwards re- 
turned to Kyoto by train. But our party was not 
yet over, no, indeed. We were met by rickshaws 
and carried across the city up the hillside to Mr. 
Inagake's country villa. Of all ideal villas this 
was the most ideal! You enter by a courtyard 
with strange-shaped pine-trees and a stone-paved 
walk. At one side is a door for servants, leading 
to a quarter where the visitors, coolies, and rick- 
shaw men are entertained, and right in front is 
the guests' door. Our shoes were removed by 
maids and boys, and then we entered. Directly 
inside were two very large connecting rooms 
with balconies on the side and end looking into 
the daintiest, most complete garden we have yet 
seen in Japan. From the farthest end a covered 
bridge, polished teak-wood, leads to several 
small reception-rooms and a large dining-room, 
— that is, we used it for a dining-room. Out- 
side the garden is a thick bamboo forest that 
completely hedges the place in. 

After our entrance, servants brought us cool- 
ing drinks, fans, and each a box of cigarettes. 
There were two young clerks from Mr. Inagake's 
company, one of whom could talk a litde Eng- 
lish, and who, by the way, is going to dine here 
with me to-morrow. Mr. I. himself could not 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 69 

speak a word of our tongue, but Mr. T. could 
speak a little. We had Wally's boy Bashi along 
as an interpreter, however. Before us were the 
gardens with grotesque trees and flowering 
shrubs and waterfalls and pools of fish, and be- 
hind us were beautiful screens, flights of sparrows, 
great gold screens for walls in one room covered 
with painted chrysanthemums and waterfalls by 
moonlight; beneath our feet soft white mats. 

As a compliment to us, Mr. I. served us with 
an American dinner on a table, with chairs, 
knives, and forks. It must have cost him an im- 
mense amount of trouble. The appointments 
were perfect, the courses without end, possibly 
fifteen or twenty, and every description of wines 
and accessories. After dinner we returned to 
another room. Night had fallen, and the whole 
house was now lighted by candles on tall, breast- 
high candlesticks. These were placed in rows 
down the verandahs and around the walls of the 
rooms. Two maids passed along the rows snuff- 
ing them almost incessantly. At Mr. Inagake's 
request we took oflF our coats and stretched 
out comfortably on soft cushions placed on the 
mats. Boys fanned us. After a few minutes' 
pause, a little flurry was heard at the farther 
end of room one, and in fluttered eight charming 



70 LETTERS OF 

geishas, a picked eight, the prettiest and most 
accomplished in Japan, our host assured us. 

They talked and laughed with us awhile, and 
then gave us a vocal and instrumental concert 
and four or five dances full of beautiful poses. 
We are beginning to understand Japanese music 
a little, and to realize the pains and skill it takes 
to produce the desired effect. The grand finale 
was a dance of Friendly Relations between 
Japan and America. Surely this was a royal 
day's entertainment if there ever was one ! 

On my return I found Kizo waiting. He had 
come to deliver some tahi at five p. M., and with 
the usual oriental disregard for time, had waited 
until ten to see us. I made an appointment with 
him to go to the Japanese theatre at five the next 
day, to-day, and will write later of the outcome. 

This morning Purdy and I visited the two 
Hongwangi temples, Nishi and Higashi, the lat- 
ter being the largest in Japan. They were beau- 
tiful and interesting, and the priest who showed 
us around was even kinder than usual, and knew 
more English than most of the others we have 
met. We have gotten so we thoroughly enjoy 
taking our shoes off and walking on the soft 
temple and house mats ; we have lived in stock- 
ing and bare feet so much lately, that our feet 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 71 

feel better and more comfortable than they ever 

do at home. 

August 2 1 St. 

Night before last, at which point the last page 
of this letter closes, Kizo, the Japanese Apollo, 
appeared at five p. m., and he and I rickshawed 
down the hill to Mina-Uni-Za, the big theatre 
of Kyoto. We stopped before a building gayly 
decorated with lanterns and flags, and, remov- 
ing our shoes, entered. We were led into a little 
balcony box by two polite and very-willing-to- 
be-smiled-at maids, and after we were comfort- 
ably seated on the floor — for I refused the 
chair they offered — the same maids brought 
us fruit, tobacco, and the bill. 

The theatre was a large one, larger than most 
of our New York theatres. Around the three 
sides was a balcony, the two opposite portions 
divided into boxes, but the end furnished with 
"promiscuous mats." Behind this end section 
was " nigger heaven." The floor stretched out 
beneath us was like a gigantic tennis racket. In 
each hole three or four people were squatted, 
drinking tea and eating rice or peaches. The 
strings of the racket were narrow raised divisions 
which are used as aisles. A little toward the right 
of the centre a wide raised platform, equal in 



72 LETTERS OF 

height with the stage, ran from the stage to the 
back of the house. This was used for some 
entrances, and between acts was a playground 
for the children. I stayed at the theatre from 
5.30 until 11.30 P.M., and found something of 
interest every minute. 

The plays presented were, first, a six-act 
tragedy, and second, a three-act comedy, both 
modern and very like American plays in plot 
construction. The costumes were excellent, the 
scenery better than all except the best American 
scenery, and the acting realistic in the extreme. 
The denouement of the tragedy was where 
the hero attacks the villain in his (the villain's ) 
house. The attack is frustrated by the villain's 
wife, who seizes the hero from behind and ties 
her sash around his sword arm. The wounded 
villain drags himself into the garden and disap- 
pears in the darkness; then the hero starts in 
pursuit, dragging the woman behind him, for 
she still holds the sash. The stage revolves 
slowly and you watch the murderer grope his 
way through the garden. At a stone arched 
bridge he finds his strength failing, so he pulls 
the woman to him hand over hand and kills her. 
At last a little temple appears, and at the top 
of its steps lies the villain. His death is rapid, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 73 

but horrible. Then the hero retraces his steps, 
starting at every sound, mistaking trees for ene- 
mies and attacking them, past the dead woman 
on the bridge (the stage turning the other way 
now) to the house where he commits hari-kiri. 
Every step of the search and the slaying is a 
beautiful pose like a sword dance, and the atti- 
tudes of the victim and avenger during the whole 
man-hunt are like a series of old prints. 

Since that night we have seen several more 
beautiful temples, but all of the same order. 
Twice the priests have served us delicious cere- 
monial tea, and once they allowed us to feed the 
carp in the garden — that was at the Golden 
Pavilion. 

This morning our permits from Tokyo ar- 
rived, and we used them to visit the Imperial 
palace and the Shogun's palace. These two 
buildings were the seats of power until the mid- 
dle of the last century. They have no furniture, 
only great rooms carpeted with spotless mats, 
ceiled with panelled woods, and walled with 
wonderful screens of gold and green and blue. 
Lions and tigers, pine trees and bamboos, heron, 
geese, and sparrows, kings and fishermen — al- 
most every screen is a masterpiece, and most of 
them over three hundred years old. The Sho- 



74 LETTERS OF 

gun's palace was smaller but far more beautifully 
complete than that of the Emperor. We had 
heard it called a "dream of golden splendor," 
and on the spot we echoed the phrase instinc- 
tively. 

Last night Purdy and Scurve grew excited over 
maps and decided to go from Shanghai up the 
Yangtze River and across to Burmah overland. 
It will take them about three months, and is 
a trip of almost thirty-six hundred miles. Of 
course, during that whole time, they can neither 
get nor send mail. 

I hate to leave Japan now that we are getting 
acquainted with some of the people and the rudi- 
ments of the language, but as time may press us 
in Indo-China, I am thinking seriously of going 
straight to Shanghai and up the Yangtze, sailing 
from Japan about September 7th. It is practi- 
cally a choice between Pekin and the Yangtze 
trip, and from what information I have gotten 
here the Yangtze trip is far the most worth 
while. I will write definitely in a day or two. 
Love to all, Gilbert. 

Hakone, Japan, September i, 1907. 
Dear Pamela, — You may remember that 
some time ago I wrote you about a hotel boy at 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 75 

Nikko named Mino. At Tokyo, after I came 
down from Ikao, I found a letter from him all 
written in Japanese. When I got to Kyoto, I 
found another, and after a little hesitation, I wrote 
to the Nikko Hotel and asked them to let me 
have him for a couple of weeks. They were very 
nice and gave him a vacation, and he arrived in 
Kyoto shortly after I last wrote you. He is very 
much more useful than our first servant thought 
of being, and he is a constant source of amuse- 
ment and pleasure. 

Soon after he came I moved to a Japanese 
hotel, the Matsunoya Hotel. Scurve Perrin went 
down, too, and we had four very pleasant days. 
Mino was a great help, as the hotel people could 
not speak a word of English. 

The building itself was much the same as 
other Japanese houses I have described: large, 
clean, soft-matted rooms, with scroll pictures 
hanging on the walls, and two sides opening 
on the inevitable and always charming garden 
that sends great flowering branches and the 
noise of running water into the room. 

As soon as you enter a Japanese hotel you 
take off all your clothes, with two or three ad- 
miring m aids, whom neither love nor money could 
drive from the room, to help you. Then you don 



76 LETTERS OF 

a kimono and gird your loins with a silken obi 
or belt, and in this costume you lie at full length 
on the floor or sit with crossed legs on little square 
cushions. Meals are served on little lacquered 
tables about eight inches high, which the maids 
bring in at meal-times, a separate table for each 
person. The meals consist mainly of fish, raw 
and cooked, several kinds always, and mush- 
rooms, potatoes, beans, eggs, and rice. When you 
are quite through, you push the table a little to 
one side, and then the maids bring peaches and 
tea. It was our custom to have tea about five 
times a day. The native tea is green, and you 
take it in little cups without handles, and never 
use cream or sugar. 

At night the little Japanese doll-maids stag- 
ger in under great rolls of mattress, futan they 
are called. These mattresses are about the size 
of a single bed and maybe two inches thick. At 
the Matsunoya Hotel they were covered with 
silk. For our benefit they spread two thicknesses 
of mattress. For bed covering they have one big 
silk quilt with a sheet buttoned on to the edges 
covering the side nearest your body. The Jap- 
anese pillow is like a small section of the hard 
rolls we sometimes put on our beds in the day- 
time. The wooden rests we have seen pictures of 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 77 

are used only by the ladies to keep their hair in 
order. After the bed is made, a great orange- 
colored mosquito netting ^ith silk edges is fas- 
tened to the corners of the ceiling, so that your 
whole room is made into a sort of cage. 

The bath is a wooden opening in the floor, 
full of very hot water, and is made use of any 
time after four P. M. In the morning the water is 
usually cold, as the Japanese indulge always in 
the evening. 

Mino is rich in a Japanese hotel. He sits in 
the centre of the room and claps his hands in 
regular Arabian Nights fashion; at every clap 
in waddles a little maid, and with the air of 
a Daimio he orders lemonade, peaches, tea, or 
a clean kimono. Another of his specialties is 
shopping. Every day he adds something to the 
collection that he is taking back to Nikko, from 
sweetmeats to a sword-cane. The other day he 
appeared with a whole tea-set for his mother. I 
was thunderstruck, for it was a very pretty set 
and I could n't imagine where he got the money. 
Later I discovered that it had cost him fifteen 
cents in American money! 

He is an expert at imitating the geisha dancers 
and the Nikko temple dancers, and he amuses us 
for hours with his antics. Another of his imi- 



78 LETTERS OF 

tations is what he calls "American shibai" 
(American theatre). It seems that some man 
once gave an American monologue of the Uncle 
Silas type at the Kanaya Hotel. In his imitation 
Mino pulls a hat over his eyes and walks up and 
down with a perfect imitation of the American 
hayseed. The words he utters, however, are an 
unintelligible jumble meant to imitate our noble 
English language. His English is another source 
of amusement. When he says, " Mio nichi my 
horse?" he means, "Do we make to-morrow's 
trip on horseback ?" Or, "Yesterday night my 
three hours' sleep, taihen woof-woof," means 
that the dog's barking kept him awake last night 
so that he only slept three hours. 

For two days at this Japanese hotel it rained 
so that we could not go out. In fact, they had the 
heaviest rains for years, and towns and bridges 
were swept away. Time never hung on our 
hands, though, for every moment there was some- 
thing new and strange going on. I had a very 
pleasant visit one night from my friend Kizo, 
about whom I wrote you. 

After the rain stopped, we spent one day in 
making a trip by rickshaw to Lake Biwa, the 
largest lake in Japan, about six miles north of 
Kyoto. There we saw a quaint temple and 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 79 

climbed a hill to see a famous view, then hired 
a boat and came back by canal. The scenery 
along the canal is very picturesque, and at one 
place we went under a mountain through a tun- 
nel almost a mile long. We passed several boats 
in the darkness, each one with a paper lantern 
hung at the bow, in the light of which the bare 
body of the oarsman gleamed red as he swung 
back and forth over his scull. 

On last Monday we left Kyoto for Kobe. 
Kobe is a hustling port, with high-priced hotels 
and shops, and nothing to see except one water- 
fall. On Tuesday Mr. Inagaki entertained us 
again at another villa about ten miles out of 
Kobe on the seashore. It is a very pretentious 
villa, situated in an imperial grant, with a beau- 
tiful view over the tops of a pine forest out on 
to the Inland Sea, and a long curve of sand 
beach stretching towards Kobe. 

Tuesday night we took a steamer from Kobe 
to Miyajima, which place we reached the next 
afternoon at five o'clock. The Inland Sea down 
which we travelled is the finest sheet of water I 
have ever seen, and the night view of it by the 
light of the full moon, and the next day with an 
Italian sky and a cool breeze, are two expe- 
riences I shall not forget. 



8o LETTERS OF 

The postal cards I sent you from Miyajima 
do not give you any idea of the beauties of this 
place. It is an island about eighteen hundred 
feet high and thickly wooded. Itsikushima is the 
old name for it, and it has been sacred for years 
and years. No dogs or burials are allowed on 
the island, and it is only lately that women have 
been allowed to land on it. There is a huge tem- 
ple built over the sea on piles, and when the tide 
is in, the whole building with its several thousand 
feet of galleries and dancing stages seems afloat. 
Out in front of the temple is the famous Torii 
in the water, a really beautiful sight, to which 
the picture does not do anything like justice. 

Our hotel at Miyajima was a famous Japanese 
inn, the Iwaso Hotel. It is a series of one-story 
villas built in a scattered fashion throughout a 
very beautiful maple park. Our room hung over 
a little rocky gorge, with a waterfall above and a 
clear pool directly below. The rocky sides of the 
pool were covered with a wealth of vines and 
pines and maples, and queer little stone steps 
led to its edge. In the morning sometimes we 
had the pleasure of watching a Japanese guest 
paddle around in the pool in preference to using 
the regular bath. The island is full of deer that 
have been treated so well for generations that 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 8i 

they are perfectly tame and very friendly, and 
wander around the streets and stream-beds quite 
at home. 

Am. and Mino and I made this Miyajima trip 
alone, leaving the rest in Kobe; but on the boat 
we fell in with a very nice Japanese student, who 
stayed at Miyajima with us for two days, and 
with whom we took several long walks and a de- 
lightful swim in the ocean. I wish I could make 
you feel the charm of that island, with its clean, 
sand beaches, and masses of thick, green foliage, 
and mountains, and temples, and quaint town 
streets, and deer, and smiling people, and litde 
brown babies tumbling about the surf all day; 
but it is useless to try, you must come and see 
for yourself. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 

Hakone, September 2, 1907. 

Dear Helen, — My letter to Pam yesterday 
left me enchanted on the sacred island of the In- 
land Sea; before I tell you how I broke the spell 
and got here, I must throw in another detail. On 
our last night there, our Japanese student friend, 
who had just missed his third boat on purpose 
to stay with us, appeared, and our early evening 
was spent in the village watching an annual 



82 LETTERS OF 

dance in which the village youngsters, in best 
attire and masked, competed for honors in grace 
and rhythm. After an hour of mingling with the 
crowd (we had on our kimonos, too, you may be 
sure), we returned to our nest above the pool, 
and indulged in peaches and tea for the hundred 
and seventh time that day. Before crawling 
under our mosquito tents and stretching out on 
the floor, we strolled through the park to the top 
of a small hill. The sky was heavy with stars, and 
below us the calm sea flashed back star for star. 
Behind us rose the mountain we had climbed in 
the afternoon, and everywhere the deep shade of 
pines and maples, and the sound of running water, 
and the never-ending shrill of the cicala. " Hear 
the worms sing!" said our student friend, and 
by performing one of the feats of will-power of 
the century I did n't crack a smile. 

On Tuesday we had said good-bye to Scurve 
and Purdy, who sailed for Shanghai to make pre- 
paration for the great expedition overland to 
India. We shall not see them again until Decem- 
ber. There is really hardly any danger, for the 
road is well marked, an easy native trade route, 
and the people are simple-hearted, kindly Chinese, 
not like the Coast Chinamen. One man who took 
the trip said he felt safer among them than in 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 83 

New York. If I had three years to travel, I should 
like to join them, but as it is — no, thanks. 

On the same day we said good-bye to John, 
Ted, and Wally, who have started across Siberia 
on their homeward trip. Reese Alsop, ShefF. 
'06, who has been here since March, is going 
with them. 

On Friday Am. and I parted at Miyajima. 
He stayed there one day longer and then in- 
tends going north to Ama-no, Hashidate, and 
across Korea and Manchuria to Pekin, thence 
to Mongolia for a week's shooting. Mino and 
I took the afternoon express from Miyajima for 
the Hakone district, which Am. had visited a 
few weeks ago. I will rejoin him either at Pekin 
or at Hankow on the Yangtze. There is a rail- 
road from Pekin to Hankow, and as it is three 
days' steam up the river from Shanghai, he 
would wait there for me instead of coming to the 
coast. Then together we will go up to Chang- 
sha to see the New Yale. We heard very sad 
news from there a short time ago : Warren Sea- 
bury, a very young man and brother of an inti- 
mate friend of mine, was drowned while in swim- 
ming. He was one of the best men that New 
Yale had — or old Yale, for that matter. 

Mino and I had a very hot trip on the train 



84 LETTERS OF 

back through Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, and on to 
Numadzu, which we reached at 10.30 A. M., hav- 
ing left Miyajima mainland station at 2.15 P. M. 
the day before. If you look on the map, you will 
find Miyajima in the Inland Sea just beyond the 
city of Hiroshima. Numadzu, where we left the 
train, is in the upper right-hand corner of Suruga 
Bay, and the Hakone district is the whole pe- 
ninsula that lies between Suruga and Sagami 
bays. It is a district of high mountains and 
beautiful lakes, with picturesque passes and 
villages everywhere, and from each portion of 
the Hakone district you have a magnificent view 
of Fuji, which is close at hand. 

I had always thought of Japanese mountains 
and mountain passes as, in a way, toy afi^airs, 
but when you reach them, they are just as huge 
and dizzy as the life-size Yosemite brand. 

Mino had been made very ill and dizzy by the 
train, so I let him take a pony to Hakone from 
Numadzu, but I preferred to walk. First we 
drove six level miles in a basha, 2l queer sort of 
a covered cart, then the climb began. There is 
a regular road up to Hakone, but such a road ! 
All I could think of was Rome. I have seen old 
roads, but this must antedate them all by cen- 
turies. It is paved with blocks of stone varying in 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 85 

size from two feet across to the diameter of an 
orange; some have sunk almost two feet below 
the road level, and others have poked their noses 
high in the air. The whole road is so worn by 
travel that in many places it is ten or fifteen feet 
below the surface of the ground. 

Among the foothills the road is shaded by 
aged pines that cast the weirdest shadows across 
it. Later it passes through forests of bamboo so 
thick that no sun ever reaches the ground, and 
finally it emerges on a grassy rolling upland, 
with big hills beyond and broad views over cul- 
tivated fields to the ocean far beyond. At the 
left Fuji looms bigger and bigger every moment. 
On the way I passed through three or four tiny 
villages full of bare babies with tummies that 
put 's achievement in that line in the deep- 
est shade. The last hour of the tsvelve-mile 
climb was through clouds ; but I got above them 
at last, and just when I felt so tired that I could 
not climb another foot, suddenly I found myself 
looking down on a beautiful lake nestled in 
among high mountains; another Lucerne, with 
the added glory of a great, perfect Fuji at one 
end. There is nothing here but a tiny, primitive 
village, a summer palace of the Crown Prince, 
and this hotel. 



86 LETTERS OF 

The hotel is half Japanese, and you must take 
off your shoes before entering. Beds and foreign 
food are the only Americanisms. It is built out 
over the water, with a neat grass-plot reclaimed 
from the lake behind. My room has only three 
walls, and the fourth side is open to the lake. 
Mino and I are at present the only guests, and 
our meals are served in my room on a table close 
to the open edge. To-day is our third morning 
here. The first it rained, and we took short walks, 
interspersed with cups of tea. The second day 
it rained, and we fished from a boat which I 
rowed with mighty strokes about the lake. We 
were rewarded with four minnows, which we ate 
a few minutes ago for breakfast. In the after- 
noon we swam. 

To-day is cool and sunny ; we are now await- 
ing horses to take us up the famous Ten Province 
Pass. (Ten Province Pass, so called because 
from its summit Ten Provinces can be seen.) I 
will add that expedition to this letter on my 
return. 

Our evenings have been spent in English les- 
sons. Mino has a book of phrases that Mr. 
Kanaya taught him, and he also owns the 
First National Reader, which the Japanese 
schools have adopted. It seems strange to hear 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 87 

some of the first reader stones again. "Come, 
Rover, I will run you a race." "Bad boy, bad 
boy, come down from that tree, do not rob 
the bird!'' Stranger than all is it to hear them 
from a Japanese boy who has great trouble 
twisting his mouth around the syllables. He 
would capture mother in an instant with his 
love for cleanliness; a stain on a napkin is 
enough to make him turn a whole hotel upside 
down. . . . 

Later, 

At ten this morning our ponies came and 
we set off for the Ten Province Pass. A ride of 
about three hours brought us to the summit, and 
we spread our picnic lunch, which a coolie had 
carried for us, on the summit of a breezy moun- 
tain pass that gave a glorious view of two bays 
of the Pacific, one at each side, and the ocean 
itself over the mountain ranges on the end of the 
peninsula in front of us. Behind, row after row 
of big bare hills rose above one another, and 
behind them towered Fuji, just visible by fits and 
starts through its crown of clouds. This combi- 
nation of sea and mountain views is something 
I have never seen before. It is starding to look 
over the top of a mountain as tall as the one you 



88 LETTERS OF 

stand on and see an island floating apparently in 
blue sky ; and it is equally startling to look down 
a long fan-shaped valley in which a great cottony 
white cloud is rolling about, with the blue sea 
for a background instead of the blue sky ! At the 
end of one valley we could see a broad pine- 
fringed beach and the white line of the breakers 
rolling in. 

Perched in a recess of these windy heights we 
found a quaint old temple, quite large and well 
cared for. In the approach were some of the 
quaintest gods I have yet seen, one seated like 
Buddha, but with his mouth opened wide and 
his eyes like Pamela's when she makes a face; as 
he was at least six feet high, the effect was start- 
ling. Another god was chiselled in outline on a 
big flat slab of stone. 

To-morrow I think we shall go down to Mi- 
yanoshita, another place in the Hakone district, 
and one that is reported to have the finest hotel 
in Japan. 

I forgot to tell you that when we went through 
the Miyajima temple with Mino and our student 
friend, they both worshipped at several of the 
shrines. This is done by ducking the head and 
clapping the hands to call the God's attention. 
Mino bought some candles and had them lighted 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 89 

at the main altar. He also fed the sacred horse 
some sacred beans. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 

The Grand Hotel, Ltd., 
Yokohama, September lo, 1907. 

Dear, dear Family, — This is the last letter 
that you will receive from Japan, the last I shall 
v^rite from this delightful country, for to-morrow 
morning at ten o'clock I sail for Shanghai in the 
Yamaguchi Maru, Nippon Yuson Kaisha Line. 

On last Wednesday Mino, the Russian cap- 
tain Riabbits, whom we had met at Hakone, and 
I took sampan for an hour across the lake, and 
then walked over the mountains, past the hot- 
waterfalls and boiling sulphur pits of Ojigoku 
— the Big Hell — to Miyanoshita. Miyanoshita 
is charming. It is a little mountain village, with 
one of the finest hotels in Japan, perched half- 
way up the side of a steep, deep valley. From the 
village street you look down, far down over the 
tops of maples and bamboos and flowering 
bushes with glossy green leaves, to a white,» 
foamy mountain river that lies below you like a 
strip of cotton cloth. Across the valley and be- 
hind the village are smooth hills of grass that 
hide the sun at four o'clock in the afternoon and 



90 LETTERS OF 

look for all the world like lazy whales asleep. At 
the upper end of- the valley is Fuji, and at the 
lower, five miles away, the sea! 

I think you would enjoy a month there, for 
there are countless rambles that take from fif- 
teen minutes to two days, and comfortable moun- 
tain chairs and ponies for those who like to sit 
and watch the scenery walk by. Besides, there 
is excellent cooking, and hot and cold baths of 
soda or sulphur that spring from the ground right 
into your tub. Every cottage has a cool, bub- 
bling fountain by the front door, and the Jap- 
anese ApoUinaris — Hakone Water — is bot- 
tled in this district. 

At Miyanoshita I got a few letters from home 
that had been forwarded from Nagasaki. For 
the next six days, the length of time the passage 
to Shanghai occupies, I shall probably not have 
a chance to write, as the port Moji is in quaran- 
tine ; I may get a line off at Nagasaki, however. 

Just now I heard two gentlemen sitting next 
to me in the writing-room talking about a cable- 
gram from Vancouver about a riot there, in which 
the Japanese quarter was destroyed. After a 
month's residence, or rather six weeks, among 
this gentle, cultured people, I am not surprised 
that the term barbarian used to be applied to us 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 91 

by them. With their ready politeness, their re- 
spect for age, their desire to learn and quickness 
at understanding, and the friendly good-will they 
show on all sides, they make me ashamed of my 
own countrymen and Europeans in general. I 
fail to see the superiority of the so-called white 
man. It certainly is not intellectual ; philosophy, 
mathematics, art, — in all these branches they 
can equal and surpass us. It is surely not tem- 
peramental, for the average Japanese farmer is 
more of a gentleman and has better manners and 
a more unselfish heart than the average traveller; 
and when you consider the different strata of so- 
ciety that the farmer and traveller come from, 
the remark needs no comment. 

Most people will tell you that the superiority 
is moral. That is absolutely false. The same 
standards prevail among the Japanese as among 
ourselves, and these standards are even better 
lived up to. The average tourist hangs about the 
open ports the way a timid swimmer hangs to 
the raft, and his long-range observation is as fol- 
lows: "Here is a people that has no beds, ta- 
bles, or chairs. Here is a people that shows its 
legs in the street from the hip down. Here is a 
people that takes baths three and four in a tub. 
Here is a people that speaks openly of things that 



92 LE^TTERS OF 

are never mentioned in Europe or America. 
What a lot of heathen sinners they must be !" All 
this criticism is superficially true, but the fact is 
that our superiority of morals is a matter only of 
forms. We think we are spotless if we do not 
see or hear; the Japanese has no prudishness, but 
the foundation is just as firm as ours. I have 
seen ladies as cultured as Piety Hill's best, nurs- 
ing their children without concealment, and I 
have been in the same tub with strangers of the 
same social level as our own family, without the 
least embarrassment. The seaport tourists only 
think of what Americans would do if Japanese 
customs were suddenly introduced into our land. 
They do not stop to find out actual conditions 
here. 

The Japanese bath, by the way, is a very 
clean affair. Every one carefully soaps himself 
and washes off with little tubs of water before 
entering, and soap is never used in the big 
tub. 

These people consider us a very unclean race 
with our great nailed boots and our loud voices 
and our kissing tendencies. It makes a true Jap- 
anese shudder to think of exchanging kisses. 

Yokohama is only four hours from Miyano- 
shita, but we stopped at Enoshima for the night 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 93 

and I renewed some of the acquaintances that I 
made on my former trip to that delightful island. 
Here at Yokohama I have been busy securing 
passage and buying a few odds and ends. In the 
afternoons Mino and I have taken rickshaws out 
along the shores of the bay, and last night I took 
him to hear an American comic opera produced 
by an English Company just up from Australia. 
I wish you could have seen him; sometimes 
highly amused, sometimes amazed at the sense- 
less proceedings of the chorus. Their stupid 
marching and counter-marching seems like 
baby play beside the Japanese dance, where 
the slightest movement of the hand is full of 
meaning. 

To-day Mino left for Nikko, and I am quite 
lonesome without him. To-day . . . after see- 
ing Mino off at nine A. M., I rolled around town 
for two or three hours in a Japanese overgrown 
baby carriage and got quite away from the Eu- 
ropean quarter. Here at Yokohama are appar- 
ent the only disagreeable traits I have seen in 
this people : a sort of New York persistency and 
independence which is clearly the result of our 
boasted "civilizing influence''; but away from 
the hotel district and the main streets you meet 
the same friendly smiles and overpowering bows 



94 LETTERS OF 

that the interior shows you. I don't see why 
Japan doesn't send missionaries to America; 
heaven knows they could do us a world of good. 
The criticism of this politeness you always hear 
from the globe-trotter, as he sits on the hotel ter- 
race with a whiskey and soda, and views native 
life from this vantage-point, is that "the crafty 
beggars do it all for trade." They probably do 
keep their tempers under provocation for rea- 
sons of policy, but courtesy is so ingrained in 
their nature that they never relax. You go to a 
store, and spend an hour and three and a half 
cents. Your true shopkeeper bows you to your 
rickshaw and down the street, and thanks you 
as though you had taken over his whole stock. 
I shall never forget the send-ofF they gave us at 
Hakone. We tipped only our maid and table 
waitress, but the whole staff, from manager to 
the third bath-steward, were on the float to see 
us off; and there they stood, a bright-colored 
little group of ten or twelve, and watched us out 
of sight; for twenty minutes they stayed, and 
not one left until we rounded the first point on 
the lake, and the cheery little group had been 
reduced to dots of color. 

I should like to give a big garden party, with 
lots of paper lanterns and shaved ice and lemon- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 95 

ade, and invite all Japan to come and live out 
their merry litde lives eating and playing Blind- 
man's BufF. I should invite every soul, from 
the litde babies, with shaved heads and tufts 
of hair like a French poodle, to the courdy old 
men and dear, wrinkled, old, blackened-toothed 
women. 

This afternoon I put a fresh film in my kodak 
and sallied forth on foot. I walked first past the 
French Consulate and along the river-bank to 
the native town. The river was full of sampans, 
and the banks lined with funny litde monkeys 
from five to fifteen years old, fishing or swim- 
ming in every garb. Long kimonos looped up at 
the belt, coolie coats like Old World page's 
jackets, with flowing sleeves and great Chinese 
letters on the back, trunks, loin-cloths, and skin 
like brown satin. I can't tell you the fun I have 
had using the litde Japanese I know, and I 
sauntered for an hour along the water-side, stop- 
ping now with one group, now with another, 
asking how many fish they had or whether the 
water was very cold to-day. Finally I reached 
the bottom of the bluff, where all the foreign resi- 
dents live. A straight flight of stone steps led to 
the top, right in front of my nose, so I climbed 
up and drank a botde of lemonade at the Hun- 



96 LETTERS OF 

dred-Step Tea-house, with the town and harbor 
stretching away beneath. 

Coming down from the blufF, I took a curv- 
ing road some distance beyond the tea-house, 
and halfway down I found a shady bit of fence, 
whereon I perched and opened my camera. 

I wish I could lead you all to that bit of fence 
and sit with you for the afternoon. Above and 
below, the road curves out of sight, and directly 
opposite is a stone embankment about twenty 
feet high, over the top of which a little garden 
peeps down at the road. The interest of the spot, 
however, is in the stream of life going up and 
down. Grunting coolies zig-zagging up from 
below, pushing a heavy cart, or coming down 
from above with long half-running steps, leaning 
back to brace the load, and every muscle in the 
broad chest and shoulders standing out like steel 
rope. Around their foreheads they all tie figured 
strips of cloth to keep the sweat out of their eyes. 
Now and then a great ox with a straw-matting 
roof built over his back would swing by, his 
master at his head brushing off the flies with 
a branch. Rickshaws a-plenty, and men and 
women on foot there were, and peddlers with 
their wares balanced on each end of a long pole 
over their shoulders. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 97 

The shady spot I had selected was a favorite 
resting-place for tired coolies on the way up, and 
so I had company all the time. They would be 
very friendly in a polite way, and invariably 
asked how much the camera cost. Judge my 
pride when I understood and answered in Jap- 
anese. My few native words and the picture in 
the finder filled them all with delight, and I think 
I got some very good pictures, although when I 
asked them to pose they usually showed great 
shyness, and there was a good deal of "you first*' 
talk among them, and laughing shoving of each 
other to the front. One boy hid behind his cart, 
covering his face with his big straw hat. My 
attempts to catch him, as he peeked over the hat 
now and then, convulsed him and the crowd 
around us. One little school-boy stayed with me 
all afternoon, and walked part way back to the 
hotel. 

I hope the pictures come out well, for the 
subjects were excellent. Among the best was a 
group of tiny girls, and then again two little boys 
in long kimonos, big sashes, and straw hats, who 
were chasing a butterfly with long-handled nets, 
with which they tried to hold it against the stone 
wall opposite. 

My visit here has been perfect. The weather 



98 LETTERS OF 

about like a summer at Higgins Lake. More ex- 
ercise than I usually get at the lake, and abso- 
lutely perfect health. I have more intimate know- 
ledge of native life than I had imagined it was 
possible for a stranger to get. Many native 
friends, to six of whom I have promised to write. 
Above all, the meetings with college students 
(all of them in kimonos and bare feet), which 
would have been impossible at any other season 
than the summer vacation, and which my youth 
and present student status never failed to assist 
towards intimacy. 

My memories of this land shall be memories 
of gardens and temples and moonlight; of breezy 
mountain walks and still nights full of the sound 
of running water; of calm, sleepy Buddhas 
dreaming their lives, or rather their eternities, 
away in gloomy groves of huge pine trees, with a 
lotus pond just a step beyond; and in contrast, 
an active, brave little race of giants, busy as bees, 
and yet with strange Buddha-like depths at times ; 
memories of gentle kindness, warm friendships, 
and smiles. A group of memories that will make 
my life happier a great many times in days to 
come. 

Good-night. Loads of love, 

Gilbert. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 99 

After dinner. 

When I think of how little my letters have told 
you of all the strange sights and experiences of 
the last six weeks, it seems as though I never 
could end this last Japanese letter. I don't be- 
lieve I have mentioned the tiny silver pipes that 
men and women of all ages and classes smoke 
continually. I don't believe I have told you of 
the shaved ice sweetened with fruit syrup that is 
sold at every corner. I am sure I have forgotten 
the high wooden clogs that make all Japanese 
four to six inches taller than usual on a rainy day. 
I have n't told you how this hotel looks out over 
the harbor full of ships, with our U. S. cruiser 
Chattanooga in the foreground. I have made no 
mention of the boys swimming off the rocks at 
Enoshima, who insisted on feeling my shoes to 
see whether my feet were as pointed as they 
looked. I have not told you of Mino's fondness 
for botded lemonade, to the extent of about a 
gallon a day; but never mind, some day we'll 
talk it all over, unless you are by that time tired 
of hearing about the East, or unless I have for- 
gotten — which is not likely. 

I have sent to father's care a box containing 
most of my purchases here. Mr. Neuhaus, a 
German friend of ours, has included the things 



loo LETTERS OF 

in a shipment of his export company to Detroit, 
so the freight charges will be very slight. There 
will be considerable duty to pay, however. If 
you can curb your impatience, please wait till I 
reach home before opening, because I should so 
like to have the pleasure of showing you the 
things. Then, too, you would not know whom 
they were for. About Christmas time I shall try 
to send something that you can open. If you 
feel, however, that you had rather see them now, 
all right ; but don't do it if you can resist. Half 
the pleasure in selecting them was in thinking 
about showing them and explaining them to you. 
Good-night, Gilbert. 

Kobe, Japan, September 13, 1907. 

Dear Ones, — Just a line or two to keep you 
posted. You will probably start with surprise at 
this letter-heading, but the explanation is that 
after leaving Yokohama I discovered that my 
boat was due to stop two days at Kobe. They all 
do, but I had not been told of the fact before. 
I was delighted to learn that I could have one 
more little taste of Japanese comfort, and it has 
been a very pleasant one, although very tantaliz- 
ing at the same time. 

Our boat, the Yamaguchi Maru, is small, two 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK loi 

thousand tons, but a safe boat and a great fa- 
vorite with ladies because she is so steady. She 
has accommodation for only ten first-class pas- 
sengers, and is as cozy as a bandbox. We came 
to Kobe with a full table, but only four of the 
passengers developed traits of interest during the 
night and day on board. 

No. I was a young Frenchman stationed at 
Hanoy or Hanoie in Cochin China. His interest 
lay in the fact that he had been to the Ankor 
Wat and gave me a card to a man at Saigon 
who can help us on our trip to the great ruin. 

No. 2 was Mr. Matsujima, a leading Tokyo 
barrister, taking a little sea-trip as a bracer. 

No. 3 was my room-mate, Mr. V . He is a 

Yokohama man, but a member of the Kobe Qub, 
where he kindly put up my name yesterday. 
He is sixty-four years old, and has been in Japan 
for thirty-five years. He and his family would n't 
live any place else. Of course, he was a mine 
of information, and as he was willing to talk, I 
learned a great deal. He has been a soldier in 
Brazil, and was captain of a privateer that the 
Russians fitted out years ago when they expected 
to fight Great Britain. It was at that period, 
he says, that a Russian and a British frigate an- 
chored opposite each other in Yokohama har- 



102 LETTERS OF 

bor and each boat ran out its guns. A little 
Japanese gunboat, about one tenth their size, 
dropped anchor between them and peace was 
preserved. 

No. 4 was most interesting of all. He was a 
boy going back to his school in Kobe. He was half 
English, a third American, with a little Spanish 
and the rest Kanaka. He was a handsome chap, 
with big Kanaka eyes that are like animal's eyes, 
like a deer's. He is a grandson of King O'Keefe 
of Guam, and he himself lives on Bonine Island. 
These are South Sea Islands, but I had never 
heard of them before. They are peopled by 
refugees, deserters, marooned sailors, and pirates. 
His grandfather had two partners. Pease and 
Hayes. Pease was shot by a native woman, and 
Hayes was hanged at Shanghai by the U. S. Con- 
sul, the last pirate to be hanged. These details I 
learned from the Encyclop, my room-mate. The 
boy, James O'Keefe, was innocent as a lamb and 
the pet of the boat. He was exceptionally clever, 
and gave us some great South Sea yarns that I 
will save for Higgins Lake. 

We reached Kobe yesterday, the I2th, at 
noon - — three hours ahead of time. I did some 
errands in the afternoon and later took the train 
for Kyoto. On the way to the Matsunoya Hotel 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 103 

I passed the tahi shop where my old friend Kizo 
Mori lives, and he saw me pass and rushed out 
to welcome me back. I asked him to come over 
to supper, which invitation he accepted. 

At the hotel I was welcomed royally by my old 
friends Miss Stork, Miss Wisteria, and Miss 
Pine-tree. It seemed almost like getting home, 
for they gave me the same room and futans I had 
had before. In the evening Kizo and I saw mov- 
ing pictures at Mina Miza. This morning I left 
for Nara, the old capital, 1789 a. d., and Kizo 
came, too. All afternoon we wandered about the 
hillside at Nara, up and down paths that lead 
through the heart of a cool green forest. Every 
path is edged with stone lanterns ; not a row of 
them but a thicket of them, shoulder to shoulder 
and four to six deep. They are of different shapes 
and sizes and mostly covered with soft green 
moss. Temples are at the end of every path, and 
some of them are beauties, full of rare treasures. 
At one temple two girls about thirteen, their faces 
white with rice powder, did an ancient sacred 
dance for us, and in another great pile we saw the 
largest Buddha (or rather Daibutsu, not Buddha 
at all, but Amida) in Japan. This colossus is 
about twenty feet taller than the giant at Kama- 
kura, but not so beautiful. 



104 LETTERS OF 

We took a late afternoon train for Osaka, 
where we dined and parted, Kizo going home 
to Kyoto, while I came on to Kobe. This hotel 
is sort of a family house, and much nicer than 
the Oriental, where I stayed last time. 

To-morrow at lo a. m. we weigh anchor for 
Shanghai, via the Inland Sea, The new moon 
has appeared to-night, so that if it is clear to- 
morrow, I shall see moonlight on the Inland Sea 
for the second time — wonderful luck. 

Very, very sleepy, so good-night. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 

S. S. Nippon Yusen Kaisha, 
Nagasaki Harbor, September 15, 1907. 

Dear Pam, — I have just finished reading 
your good letter written on July 28th. 

My last letter home was from Kobe, just be- 
fore sailing. Well, all day Saturday we steamed 
down the beautiful Inland Sea, and Saturday 
night I saw the island and water-stretches again 
by moonlight. On Sunday morning I woke to 
find the ship anchored in a narrow swift-run- 
ning channel between Moji and Shimoniseki, 
the western gate between the ocean and the In- 
land Sea. The cities on either side were nestled 
at the foot of big green hills, and the scene, in the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 105 

fresh morning sunshine, was a delightful picture. 
At present Moji is suffering from a plague of 
cholera, so we were not allowed to land, although 
the boat remained at anchor until three in the 
afternoon. The most interesting sight of all was 
the coaling of the ship. All the coal, at Japanese 
ports, is put on board ship by hand, and the 
coolies do it much quicker than a machine could. 
On each side of our ship two wooden sailboats 
were tightly fastened. Each boat or junk was 
loaded full of coal, and swarming with coolie 
men and women. As soon as the boats were well 
fastened, they ran a flight of steps from each 
boat to a hole in the ship's side. Along this stair- 
way a long row of men and women grouped 
themselves, and soon they began to pass up bas- 
kets of coal and throw them into our ship's hold. 
You would never believe that they could pass 
up so many baskets a minute as they do. They 
would be wonders at " Button, button, who has 
the button ? " 

For five hours these picturesque half-dressed, 
or rather quarter-dressed, people stood in line, 
and the coal-baskets shot up the stairs in a 
never-ending flow. Some of the women who 
were working hardest had babies strapped on 
their backs the whole day long. 



io6 LETTERS OF 

At three, promptly, we pulled up anchor, and 
after a few sharp turns in the channel, we found 
ourselves in the open sea once more, on the far 
side of Japan, with Korea just to the northwest 
of us. But we turned south, and as long as we 
remained on deck in the moonlight our ship was 
skirting the island of the western coast. 

This morning we were called early, just in 
time to see the entrance to Nagasaki harbor. 
This harbor is said to be finer than the Bay of 
Naples, and equalled only by the harbor at Rio 
Janeiro. It is so surrounded by hills that it looks 
like a great lake, and the outlet to the ocean is 
guarded by steep cliffs and high, rocky islets. 

After the quarantine inspection, we were al- 
lowed to go on shore, and I wandered about the 
town, buying a few trinkets and some fine tor- 
toise-shell, for this is the headquarters for tor- 
toise-shell work. 

The town is very old and quaint and has many 
historical landmarks, for it was the Dutch trad- 
ing-post in the old days, three hundred years ago, 
when foreigners were allowed to enter the land 
only after they had trampled on the cross and 
spit upon the images of Christ and Mary. Some 
of the crosses and images that were used in the 
ordeals are still preserved here in museums. The 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 107 

Dutch used to go through these rites willingly, 
for Japanese trade meant guldens for their 
pocket, and to the Dutch that means more than 
doubtful credit in heaven. 

My fellow passengers are two English mission- 
aries to Ning-Po, China, just returning after 
their summer vacation, and one Japanese gen- 
tleman who lives on Long Island and went for 
two years to Yale College. 

I am afraid I shall not reach Hong Kong quite 
so early as I intended, but I will cable you all at 
home from whatever place I happen to be on the 
appointed date. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 

Dear Pam, — I was unable to mail your let- 
ter from Nagasaki, so will do so from Shanghai 
this morning. Last night we went below and left 
the ship careening bravely through a beautiful 
deep-blue sea. Sails up on bow and stern, for the 
wind was dead behind and they could save coal. 
Now, this morning (it is early before breakfast), 
I have come on deck to find that we are sailing 
through a sea of bright yellow mud ! The Yel- 
low Sea with all its beautiful blue discolored by 
the waters of the great Yangtze-Kiang. Off to 
the right are a few long, low islands, flat as pan- 



io8 LETTERS OF 

cakes, showing like thin emerald bars against 
the yellow background. Indeed, I am coming to 
a country that is different from Japan with its 
sparkling seas and pine-covered hills. 

Just before leaving Nagasaki I received a let- 
ter from W P , who crossed on the same 

steamer with us from America. He has been 
appointed private tutor to the Korean Prince in 
Tokyo! If I had been able to see him before 
leaving, I should have applied for some regal 
tutorship, and stayed in Tokyo until Christmas- 
time. If I hear of a good job in China, I should 
not be surprised if I took it for a few months. I 
think it would be a fine way to learn real facts 
about the country and gain valuable experience. 
However, I suppose all jobs are for the year and 
not a few months. 

I am the only traveller on this boat, which is 
now full ; all the rest are missionaries or business 
men and their wives, returning to work after the 
usual summer in Japan. Every one I have met 
who lives in China would n't go home for worlds, 
they like the people so well. The ladies say they 
are scared to death by the rough-looking and 
acting men at home; again, let me repeat that 
the East has no rowdy class and the coolies are as 
gentle as highborn lords of old. I am now reach- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 109 

ing the land of bedbugs, however; in Japan they 
can live only a few months, so I have not met 
them yet, but if I find them as scarce as I found 
fleas in Japan, I shall not complain. Oh, how I 
would like another month in the land of the 
Rising Sun! 

Your loving brother, Gilbert. 



CHAPTER II 

CHINA 

Shanghai, China, September i8, 1907. 

Dear Family, — For four hours I have been 
in China, and oh, how homesick I am for Japan ! 
I know that after I have seen something of the 
country I shall like it better, in fact I could n't 
like it less, but just now I am going to write as 
pessimistic a scribble as I can. 

The city, at least what I have seen of it, is just 
like a European city, and some of the buildings 
are huge stone affairs with a great deal of orna- 
ment; but I did n't come halfway around the 
world to see a second-hand Europe. The streets 
are filled with the ugliest lot of dirty coolies you 
can imagine. Their clothes hang about them in 
filthy rags, and they are swaddled from head to 
foot. After the clean brown bareness of Japan, 
this close-wrapped dirtiness is most unpleasant. 
Instead of finding in every crowd a number of 
handsome, smiling faces that make you feel you 
would like to know the owners, as I have been 
used to do, in every Shanghai crowd you see ugly, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK in 

leering faces with long yellow teeth. I used to 
enjoy getting in a Japanese crowd and having 
the people close to me, but I would give a good 
deal of money to keep out of a Shanghai mob ; 
and as for a Chinese hotel, you could n't drag 
me into one in my present state of mind. 

Of course this is all distorted to me now 
because I am so sorry to leave the Island Em- 
pire, and in a few days you will be getting more 
enthusiastic letters from me, or else you will 
hear that I have taken passage back to Dai 
Nippon. 

Good-bye, and don't think I am uncomfort- 
able, for this is a beautiful big hotel, and the 
weather is almost as nice as that we left behind ; 
only I hold my breath on the street. 

Lots of love, Gilbert. 

False alarm for tiffin, so I will give another 
page of groans. 

This morning, when the steamer reached the 
dock, there was a great clear space just before 
us, and beyond that a mass of howling yellow 
goblins, with great, tall, Sikh policemen, that the 
British have brought from India, holding them 
in check. One Chinaman sneaked past the guard 
and started to cross the space, but a great black- 



112 LETTERS OF 

bearded Indian sprang after him and beat him 
back with great blows of his cane. Another man 
slapped a Chinese coolie's face for jogging his 
elbow. 

When the gates were finally opened, in rushed 
the crowd of porters and rickshaw boys like a 
great mob of pirates. Some had their heads 
wrapped in old clothes and others wore their 
pigtails on top or around their necks. There 
were a few stripped to the waist, for while a Jap- 
anese bares his legs, the Chinaman bares his body 
and keeps his legs covered with pantaloons 
or mummy-like wrappings. What a difference, 
though, in the color of their skins ! Instead of 
the tan or bronze or sunburnt copper of Japan, 
you see here a hideous, nightmare yellow. The 
rickshaws are so dirty you don't like to enter, 
and your coolie makes you shudder to look at 
him. On the streets you see many wheelbar- 
rows heaped with merchandise, or with a man 
enthroned in state and being trundled along like 
a market pig. The young boys all look like 
homely girls, and it took me about ten minutes 
to realize that practically no women are seen in 
the streets. 

Another thing I miss is the ready politeness of 
Japan. There the servants run to do things for 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 113 

you with a smile. Here they stand around until 
you call them. Every one says, however, that 
the Chinese are the best servants in the world, 
and the residents are very fond of the people, so 
maybe I shall discover qualities soon that offset 
their lack of beauty and attraction. 

Fare thee well, Gilbert. 

Shanghai, September 19, 1907. 

Dear Ones, — Am leaving to-day by steamer 
Hsiping Maru for Pekin to join Am. Pekin, 
after all. The trip takes four days — will write 
you immediately on arrival. 

Yours lovingly, Gilbert. 

Tientsin, China, September 23, 1907. 
Dear Mother, — From Shanghai I tele- 
graphed Am. at Pekin to know when he was 
coming down, and he replied (in a few hours' 
time) that it was too hot south, and I had better 
join him at the capital, especially as there were 
many good trips to be taken in the neighborhood. 
You know what my first impression of Shang- 
hai was, so I gladly complied. There was a boat 
leaving at eleven the following morning, so after 
one night's stay at my first Chinese city, I em- 
barked for another. 



114 LETTERS OF 

My boat was the Hsiping, China Engineering 
Co. She is a neat little ship about eighteen hun- 
dred tons burden, maybe one twentieth as large 
as the Adriatic. In this tiny ship I have spent 
the last four days and nights on the ocean wave. 
We were a jolly little party, — the captain, the 
first officer, and the first and second engineers. 
There was one other passenger, but he was the 
company's agent at Hankow, taking a free sea- 
trip for his health, so I was the only "paying" 
passenger on board. I had a fine cabin all to 
myself, with two port-holes, one looking forward 
over the clean sweep of deck to the bows, one 
looking across a narrow strip of deck to the side. 
My door opened right into the cozy little saloon 
with its table about the size of our home dining- 
table. The captain, the Hankow agent, and I 
each had a boy apiece to wait on us, and the 
steward filled in the chinks that the boys left 
open. The meals were excellent, and altogether 
it was more of a yachting trip than any of my 
other "yachts" I have written you about. Of 
course there was only the uncovered boat-deck, 
just below the captain's bridge, but we each had 
a reclining basket-chair, and there were awnings 
overhead and cool mattings underfoot. The of- 
ficers and agent were all Scotch or English, and 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 115 

had some great yarns about foreign life in China. 
All of them had war experiences to tell, and 
one was captured twice in the Chino- Japanese 
War. 

We got under way about noon, and steamed 
down the Whampoo River through a crowd of 
junks and sampans, each native boat leering at * 
us with a great painted eye at the bow. "No 
have eye, no can see; no can see and no can 
walkee!" as the Ningpo boy says. The Chinese 
junks and sampans have higher bows and sterns 
than the Japanese boats, and the method of row- 
ing or sculling is quite different. 

All the first day we were in the sea of yellow 
mud, but the next morning saw us back on the 
ocean blue. But what a bumpy ocean it was! 
We were right in the trough of the sea and rolled 
like a tipsy sailor. I spent the day in my bunk, 
as it was raining cats and dogs and I did n't feel 
any too chipper, listening to the waves slapping 
on the deck and sometimes banging against 
my port-hole and cabin wall. I thought I was 
going to be sick, but by confining myself to tea 
and toast, I was successful in holding my own. 
The agent did n't appear at all during the day, 
and the captain did n't show up at luncheon, so 
I was the only visitor at the tiffin table, where I 



ii6 LETTERS OF 

surveyed a long row of tempting dishes, and sat- 
isfied myself with tea and toast, and not any too 
much of that. 

Saturday was beautiful, warm and sunny with 
a startling clearness. We sighted the low coast 
several times and passed any number of fishing 
junks and a little fleet of rafts ! Single-man rafts 
way out at sea. Towards night we passed a little 
group of rocky islands that the Japanese made 
their base in attacking Port Arthur. They are in 
the straits leading to the Gulf of Pe-chi-li. The 
highest is eight hundred and sixty feet, a sheer 
cliff rising from the sea, and the others average 
three hundred feet. In the light of the setting 
sun they were brilliant orange-color, — no grass, 
no trees, no houses, just great masses of orange 
rock floating on a dark, rich-blue background 
and looking as light and ethereal as sunset 
clouds. 

Sunday morning found us off^ Taku bar, but 
we were two hours too late for high tide, and had 
to anchor until one o'clock before we could get 
through the shallow water at the entrance to the 
Taku River. This river is guarded by the rem- 
nants of two Chinese forts that have been par- 
tially levelled since the Boxer trouble. The coast 
here is a mud flat that rises above the ocean level 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 117 

to the majestic height of one foot. The river is of 
a color that would make our noble home stream 
look blue as sapphire, and the course of the 
Taku River is like that of an extraordinarily 
twisty angle-worm. Its width is such that you 
could almost jump on shore from either side of 
the ship. Tientsin lies forty miles up this mud 
creek, and it took us over six hours to get up. 
After an hour's travelling in a general inland 
direction, the character of the country changed 
from mud flats to fields luxuriant with grain 
and criss-crossed by streams and groves of wil- 
low-like trees. Villages along the bank were 
frequent and most picturesque. The houses are 
built of mud, roof and all, and they usually 
cluster around a tiny stream under a clump of 
large, shady trees. The roofs were all loaded 
with brilliant-colored ears of corn, drying, that 
made flashes of fire among the masses of green 
shrubbery. The day was like our most glorious 
autumn weather, but there is no hint as yet of 
autumn color in the foliage. 

It was great sport to watch the wave that our 
ship raised along the river-bank. A great sweep 
of water followed us around every curve, and 
quite flooded the low banks, curving over the 
grass in a rush of foam like that at the top of a 



ii8 LETTERS OF 

glass of chocolate soda-water. Before this wave 
children, pigs, and chickens fled shrieking with 
delight and fear. Some of the small river craft 
were swept about in a terrifying manner, and 
one flock of ducks was washed squawking into 
the middle of a tiny field. About dark a heavy 
thunder and wind storm broke on us with trop- 
ical short notice, and we anchored just in time to 
keep from being blown on top of the mud village 
alongshore. For about an hour the rain de- 
scended like a cloud-burst, and the thunder was 
so incessant that I took it at first for the roaring 
of the wind. The lightning made the shore 
look like a cinematograph picture. After the fire- 
works were over, we continued on our way, but 
as we were late in arriving, I spent the night 
on board. This city is now next to Shanghai in 
importance as a foreign centre, and the foreign 
concessions, with fine roads, shade trees, and 
gardens, are very beautiful and not a bit Chinese ! 
Every building has a heavy wall on account of 
recent troubles. I cannot reach Pekin (eighty 
miles inland) to-day because it is a bank holiday, 
and I must buy my ticket first, which I cannot 
do on fifty cents Shanghai money. Each town 
has diflTerent money here, and the value of each 
coin varies every day in difi^erent ratio. Some 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 119 

days ninety cents, some days a dollar and twenty 
cents, is a dollar, and the dollar still a different 
value in pounds. 

All accounts are kept in taels, and there is no 
such coin. 

Oh, what a country! 

Loads of love, Gilbert. 

Just a few more details. 

Coming up the river the village life was as 
good as a side-show, and we could see every 
department in action outdoors. Here, a little 
donkey walking round and round to trample 
out grain or turn a little mill, and there, a couple 
of men filling irrigating ditches from the river by 
swinging a bucket between them on a rope, turn- 
ing away like a couple of girls playing jump the 
rope ; one swing to fill it from the river, and one 
swing to empty it into the ditch above, and every- 
where pigs, chickens, and children. Now and 
then a shore whiff told us that a closer acquaint- 
ance would probably dampen our artistic appre- 
ciation of the scene. 

At places we saw great heaps of salt cov- 
ered with mats and well guarded. This is a 
government monopoly and a great source of 
revenue. 



120 LETTERS OF 

The Chinese are not a picturesque people. 
Their clothes, uniformly blue among the lower 
classes, are in shape and material very much like 
the overalls and blue coats that American work- 
men wear, except that the trousers are more 
baggy. The nearest approach to picturesque- 
ness is when they strip for action, tie a turban 
around their heads, tie their trousers about their 
ankles, and take off their coats ; then they look 
like Turks. Their faces are very unattractive, 
although you find nice bright ones at times, and 
they are all undeniably dirty. Last night I talked 
pidgin English with one of them for a time dur- 
ing the rain. He wanted me to feel his coat to 
see how wet it was, and as I did so, my hand 
touched his chest, which was as slippery with 
grease as a pan in which you have just fried 
potatoes. They wash three times a day but never 
bathe — once at birth and once after death. 
This is true of mandarins as well, and under 
their silks they are as dirty as the coolie. 

I have not yet become used to the pigtails lying 
like snakes along every man's spinal column. 
Some are very thick and reach below the knees, 
where they end in twisted yarn and tassel. When 
they are at work the coolies twist their tails into 
a knot on the neck, for all the world like a wo- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 121 

man's knot, and as all the women wear trousers, 
it is sometimes confusing. The front of the head 
is shaved, and young men usually have a fringe 
of hair standing straight up along the edge where 
the hair or pigtail begins. 

I do not know what our plans will be for the 
next few weeks, and shall not know until I see 
Am. However, I will write you fully of our plans 
from Pekin to-morrow or next day. To-mor- 
row I catch a 3 p. M. train for the capital, which 
lands me there about 6.30. 

I miss gready the daily intercourse with the 
natives that we became accustomed to in Japan. 
There we made acquaintances at every stop, 
and always had two or three Japanese that we 
could count on for a stroll or a meal or a talk. 
Here one sits around European hotels or strolls 
through European streets, and the intercourse 
with the people is limited to giving them orders 
or kicking them out of the way. I'm afraid this 
caste distinction between whites and natives, un- 
known in Japan, will last until we reach Persia. 
I must say, however, that even if I knew the 
language, I have not yet seen many natives that 
I should like to approach familiarly. Here you 
look on as though each native village were a 
Midway side-show, and do not enter the life as 



122 LETTERS OF 

in Japan. I wish I had not left there quite so 
soon. 

Love, Gilbert. 

And yet another word. 

It is now 7 p. M. and I have just returned from 
" drive. As dinner is not served until eight, I 
make haste to jot down a few more observations. 

The Chinese city here was for a time, just 
after the late Boxer trouble, under international 
government. During that time the walls about 
the city were levelled and the space used for a 
wide road, in the centre of which a trolley line 
runs. Around this road I have just driven. First, 
as to the city itself. It is built of mud with a few 
wooden or purple brick buildings, and between 
the crowded mass of houses run winding roads 
that you could reach across with both arms. Of 
course, foot- travelling or a sedan-chair is the only 
method of locomotion inside. 

The houses, alleys, and broad surrounding 
streets literally swarmed with people, so I had a 
good chance to continue my investigation of the 
race type. I have probably looked into hundreds 
and hundreds of faces this afternoon. There 
was plenty of interest, no one could deny that : 
fortune-tellers, story-tellers, barbers, cooks, all 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 123 

doing business in the street. Now and then a 
man would pass carrying a bird in the cage or 
a bunch of squawking ducks. Rickshaws and 
sedan-chairs were plentifully sprinkled through 
the crowd, and my mafoo (coachman) had to 
keep up a continual shouting. But in spite of the 
novelty and interest, I did not enjoy myself. 
The hostility of the people, the dirt, and the smell 
are too much in evidence, and you must remem- 
ber that this is supposed to be, by some, the 
cleanest and best ordered of native cities. The 
bare bodies that I sawnow and then were streaked 
with dirt and filth that you could see, and often 
disfigured by skin disease, and the hair of many 
looked moth-eaten and hung in little patches on 
their scalps. The smell was a horrible fried smell 
that honestly makes me a little sick now; a whifF 
of it at sea would put a whole crew flat on 
their backs, or cause a mad dash for the rail. I 
was really glad, too, that I did not understand 
Chinese, for many of the remarks yelled after 
the carriage were evidently uncomplimentary 
and insulting. Then the deformed people, or 
people with noses missing, were rather unpleas- 
ant, too. Of course there is no danger, for they 
all know that injury to a foreigner would mean 
swift, terrible punishment, but when you think 



124 LETTERS OF 

that even the little children can remember the 
Boxer troubles seven years ago, when it was al- 
lowed to take a stab at a foreigner, it gives you 
an eerie feeling. 

The old men with white mustaches and white 
pigtails are funny, and so are the dirty little brats 
with their pigtails roasted red by the sun. To- 
day I must have seen fifty great fat men, — 
great human porpoises with yellow, shiny skin 
and great rolls of fat on their necks ; then, too, 
there were many of the higher class in long silk 
robes with drooping mustaches like rat-tails and 
scrubby little goatees, just like the picture-book 
mandarins. 

The Chinese are not a nice-looking race at all, 
but sometimes a kindly face looks out of the 
crowd, or a tall, grave man passes by with quiet 
dignity. If they were all clean, they might look 
very different. Another strange sensation that I 
experienced now and then was finding a face 
in the crowd that looked exactly like an Amer- 
ican face, a startling sight. Still other faces were 
long and looked like horses. 

You never meet smiles in China. Sometimes 
they grin at you, but usually they just stare and 
you have to look through them, not at them, for 
if they catch your eye, they seem to feel they must 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 125 

do something unpleasant as quick as they can. 
I suppose an old resident would call this de- 
scription exaggerated, but it is a true, bona-fide 
first impression. I may feel very differently my- 
self before many days. 

The women are pretty, I think prettier than 
in Japan, but oh, their feet! They walk stifF- 
legged, very slowly, as if on stilts, and every step 
is painful. Sometimes, when they are young, 
their feet bleed if they walk far. Almost every 
girl, rich and poor alike, at least here in the 
North, binds her feet. The only exceptions are 
outcasts and beggars. The women wear trousers 
and thick-soled shoes, with litde jackets that fit 
tight. Sometimes long silk coats. When they go 
out, the little girls and young women paint their 
faces thickly with bright red, and rouge their 
lips, and daub their necks with white powder 
like flour. The poor people do it very unskil- 
fully and look like clowns, with red streaks even 
on the forehead, while under their chins and be- 
hind the ears the skin is as brown as an Indian. 
The lower classes here, by the way, are dark 
brown, not yellow. Girls wear their hair in a 
pigtail like the men, with bangs and long locks 
hanging just in front of the ears, with a curl at 
the end. Younger women seem here to wear the 



126 LETTERS OF 

hair in a long knot like a banana, while the older 
ones wear it on top of the head like a Japanese 
roof. Both young and old women draw the hair 
tight back from the forehead and hang 
imitation gold, silver, and jade orna- 
ments in front of the ears. Old women 
often wear flowers and knots of ribbon 
on their heads. In the South the method 
^^"■^ was a mixture of the old and young 






woman style here. Of course the women never 
wear hats. When you come into individual con- 
tact with a Chinaman, you don't dislike him. 
I like the servants I have met, and old residents 
swear by their boys. The fact is, they attach 
themselves to you like dogs, and even give their 
lives for you. During the Boxer massacres many 
a servant risked and gave his life, not to save 
his master only, but sometimes to save an almost 
worthless bit of his master's belongings. 

There is no doubt that this race has a great 
future, for it has the force of millions of people, 
great perseverance, intelligence, and power, and 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 127 

desire to work, but at present their dirt and hos- 
tility are great drawbacks. Education will cure 
both, however. 

Now is a fine time to visit Pekin, for to-day 
an edict was issued promising the people a con- 
stitutional government. China is on the eve of 
a great change, and the students are preaching a 
revolution. Events will march quickly in the next 
few years, and I am glad to be here to see the be- 
ginning of the change. I shall be able to under- 
stand the history that will be made in the next 
five or ten years. 

I expected to find here more glories of art and 
architecture. I knew that the Japanese borrowed 
the beginnings of all their civilization from 
China, but I am disappointed. Japan is now 
paying back the debt. The big curio stores and 
art stores here and at Shanghai deal with Japa- 
nese articles for the most part. Schools and gov- 
ernment institutions are run on Japanese meth- 
ods, with Japanese advice, and every hotel table 
is littered with pamphlets and guides describing 
the glories of, not China, but the little island I 
have just left. 

At Shanghai just before I left I bought two 
books on China written by old inhabitants and 
professed champions of the land. I hoped that 



128 LETTERS OF 

reading these books on the way up would in- 
spire me with love and veneration for this people. 
They soon restored my good humor, which left 
me at Shanghai for the first time, but which 
has now returned for good, but alas for the mis- 
sionary work I hoped they would do ! 

The first author, after describing several 
friends and model servants and lauding them to 
the skies, says, " But on the whole I dislike the 
people and loathe the country." The second 
author describes a trip to the Upper Yangtze 
and the Great Gorges, sixty days from Shanghai 
by steamer and junk. He finally gave up walk- 
ing ashore at all, because of the filth and the great 
crowds and the dogs, one of which bit a piece 
out of his leg. All of his sailors and the "great 
part of the people" he saw were covered with 
sores caused by the dirt. Yet he revels in the 
one or two instances of kindness he met for every 
ten discomforts, and makes out quite a pleasant 
trip, barring a few shipwrecks and accidents to 
his coolies on the rocks. As I say, these books 
restored my humor, though not my rosy antici- 
pations of pleasant days spent in native huts 
talking with the kindly farmers, that I conjured 
up, based on Japanese experiences. I believe it 
is true, however, that the farm-people are more 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 129 

friendly than the city rabble. My experience 
so far, you must remember, has been only with 
the lowest class, corresponding to the tenement 
people at home. Again I affirm that, although 
the class is low as low can be, it is not a rowdy 
or mucker class. 

Ask Pamela to remember our experience in 
Chinatown, — to make the streets, in her im- 
agination, five or ten times narrower, to fill them 
with dead cats, decayed fish, rotten cabbage, 
garbage, to imagine thousands of people crowd- 
ing about instead of the dozens we saw, to plaster 
the mob with a little of the street mixture, to set 
them all yelling, and to season with smells that 
are different and worse than you ever dreamed 
at home, and she will have some idea of the coun- 
try I am going into the heart of to-morrow. 
The buildings she and I saw were American. 
Let her substitute flimsy wood and add lots of 
pigs. 

Your loving son, Gilbert. 

Pekin, September 27, 1907. 

Dear Family, — My last moan, you may 
remember, came from Tientsin, where I was 
waiting for the bloody bank to open. (Of course 
I threw in that adjective to show you I have 



130 LETTERS OF 

been associating with "The English.") On ten 
o'clock Tuesday morning it did open, and I forth- 
with drew enough money to buy a ticket for 
Pekin, and at 3.15 P. M. I set sail in a most 
comfortable train, which landed me in the arms 
of Am. at about 6.30. 

The Chinese city is surrounded by thick walls, 
and the Tartar city is protected by a tremendous 
wall, with huge forbidding towers of pagoda 
shape over the gates. The Imperial city has a 
wall, the forbidden city has a wall, and the lega- 
tions have each a separate wall, as indeed has 
every house and most of the stores of the natives. 

For a few moments my train skirted the lower 
wall of the Chinese city, then, making a dash 
through a narrow break, it crossed to the oppo- 
site wall, and doubling along the Tartar city 
defences, came to a halt. When we first en- 
tered the Chinese city, I expected to dash into 
the midst of a busy capital, but to my great 
surprise the country inside the wall was ex- 
actly the same as it had been all the way 
from Tientsin : low, slightly wooded and culti- 
vated by turns, with here and there a mud hut. 
This sort of scenery followed us clear round to 
the station where we finally dismounted. The 
fact is that the walls of a Chinese city always 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 131 

include a great deal of the surrounding country, 
for protective purposes, and in many places in- 
side the Chinese walls you would not imagine 
there was a city near. 

The Chinese city has one wide road that bi- 
sects it, and the Tartar city has a wide road on 
each side of the Imperial city; there is also a 
broad road running at right angles to the two 
main ones and passing between the Imperial city 
and the legation quarter. For the rest, all the 
streets of Pekin are narrow, crooked alleys, in 
the usual state of filth, except throughout the 
legation quarter. With the exception of the wide 
streets mentioned, which are lined with stores 
with open fronts, a ride through Pekin shows 
you nothing but a line of high walls on both sides 
of the street. From one of the city towers, how- 
ever, the whole area gives the appearance of a 
green forest with hardly a house to be seen ! This 
is because the houses are all surrounded by trees 
and gardens, which are absolutely hidden by the 
outer walls when you are on the street level. 

Am. has been here for two weeks to-day, and 
has become acquainted with practically every 
one in town. The foreigners here are limited to 
diplomats, a few missionaries, and some privi- 
leged business men or capitalists, for the city is 



132 LETTERS OF 

not open to foreigners for residence, and special 
permission is required to settle here. Therefore, 
the place is absolutely free from the gamblers, 
adventurers, and free lances that haunt Shanghai 
and Tientsin. Ladies are in great demand, for 
there are only seventeen in town. 

After dinner on my first night, Amasa took me 

across the street to call on Mr. J . He is an 

old inhabitant and a very well-known man here, 
— a civil engineer who has put through many 
works for the Chinese government. Outside of 

the diplomats, he and Mr. M , the elderly 

correspondent for the London Times, who is said 
to be the best-known man in China, and Sir 
Robert Hart, head of the Imperial Customs, who 
has lived here sixty years and is the most distin- 
guished of all foreigners, — these three men are 
the most respected at Pekin. 

Mr. J lives in a Chinese house and is very 

hospitable. Am. has spent most of his mornings 
lounging about his library. From the outside 
nothing is visible save a high stone wall with a 
massive roofed gate. Passing this, you are in a 
little stone-paved room, with the gate-keepers' 
quarters at one side ; facing you is another heavy 
gate. After passing this second gate, you cross 
a large garden, and passing down a shady arbor. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 133 

are confronted by another wall. The boy who 
guides you opens a small door and admits you 
to an inner garden, around which are built the 
rooms of Mr. J 's house. A couple of bed- 
rooms here in one low building, a stable there, 
and library and dining-room in the main build- 
ing up a little flag-stoned path to your right. In- 
side are soft leather chairs, a fireplace, and a 
great jumble of books, old embroideries, Chinese 
gods and lions, that make an ideal place to 
lounge. We talked to the owner for an hour, and 
then strolled up Legation Street to our American 
compound. 

The soldier at the gate presented arms as we 
passed into the large moonlit square around 
which the barracks were grouped. The whole 
atmosphere was full of strange sensations, and I 
felt for almost the first time that I was in a for- 
eign land. Japan and the China ports have been 
familiar sights like old friends, but Pekin is a 
new experience. 

On Wednesday we called on Mr. R , the 

American minister, and he gave us some good 

advice as to trips in the country. Mr. J has 

also been very kind in helping us oudine expe- 
ditions, and soon we start for the interior; but 
more of that anon. 



134 LETTERS OF 

In the afternoon I took a rickshaw to the Yel- 
low Temple, which lies about a mile outside the 
upper wall of the Tartar city. The ride was a 
treat in itself. Down the broad, bumpy street we 
rolled, past trains of loaded camels coming in 
from the Gobi Desert or Manchuria, past great 
fat men astride tiny donkeys that jingled mer- 
rily along nevertheless, past the springless Pekin 
carts, with elaborate Manchu ladies peering out 
over the driver's head, street-barbers, peddlers, 
gamblers, and now and then a mandarin, his 
chair or cart surrounded by a group of retainers 
mounted on shaggy China ponies. 

The temple itself is a large group of marble 
buildings in semi-ruined condition, set in a weedy 
but beautiful park. There are great tortoises 
bearing huge marble columns on their backs and 
gilded Buddhas of all sizes, but the main sight is 
a towering dagoha of pure white marble, with 
every inch of its surface elaborately carved. 
After the siege Japanese soldiers were quartered 
here, and amused themselves by chipping off 
heads from the bas-reliefs, but they could not 
destroy half of the marvellous work. 

I was accompanied by two priests and ten or 
twelve boys, all clamoring for money at every 
gate. Some of the devices they resorted to in 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 135 

order to open my pocket were very funny. 
They would perform acrobatic stunts, or pre- 
tend they had thorns in their feet, or fall down 
on purpose and then cry piteously. I escaped 
for a comparatively few cents, however. 

Our boy Lin, who is an old servant of Mr. 

R 's, the minister, has just arrived with his 

credentials, so I will postpone finishing this until 
later. 

Later. Young Mr. D , a Harvard 1907 

graduate, who is out on a trip like ours and 
who is visiting Straight, the American Consul at 
Mukden, came down yesterday to join us in a 

trip, and at the instigation of Lin and Mr. J 

we start about daylight to-morrow morning for 
Kalgan! Kalgan is across the Nankow Pass, 
through the great wall, and is about five days' 
march from here. It is the big distributing depot 
on the route to Mongolia and Siberia, and through 
it come all the camel trains from the North. We 
are taking a cook and a coolie, donkeys, and two 
Pekin springless covered carts. Lin is an old 

boy of Mr. J 's and Mr. R 's, and they 

got him for us, so we are in the safest of hands. 
He is about seven feet high and acts like a foster- 
mother to us. We three will have a wonderful 
time, although the trip will be hard jogging on 



136 LETTERS OF 

the donkeys. I will send you my diary of the trip 
with all the minute details. It will be about ten 
days before you hear from me again, so don't 
worry. 

Love to all and lots of it, 

Gilbert. 

Pekin, October 10, 1907. 

Dear Family, — Back in Pekin safe and 
sound. We reached here yesterday, but were so 
busy finding out about times of boat-sailings and 
arranging our immediate plans, that this is the 
first chance I have had to write you. 

Our trip was a perfect success and quite un- 
usual, and Mr. J tells us that now we have 

ceased to be globe-trotters and have become 
"travellers in China.'' 

This afternoon or early to-morrow morning 
we leave by train for Ching-wan-tao on the upper 
shore of Pe-chi-li Gulf, and to-morrow evening 
we sail for Shanghai, where we make a rapid 
change of boats for Hong Kong. The next 
steamer for Saigon leaves Hong Kong on Octo- 
ber 30th, so we have a little over two weeks to 
use up. At Hong Kong we shall try to catch a 
boat to the Philippines, if we can get back in 
time to catch our Saigon boat. If we cannot do 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 137 

that, we shall probably visit Formosa, which is 
very near Hong Kong. 

I have kept a full diary of our twelve-day trip 
for you, and am getting it in shape to send. It 
will fill several envelopes, and will give you so 
much to read that you will forgive me for this 
skimpy letter and the one I wrote just before 
starting for Kalgan. Some of them are written 
in pencil and have rubbed so that I must rewrite 
them. I shall have to do it on the steamer for 
Shanghai, and will mail them there so you will 
get them almost as soon as you get this. 

We have met many delightful people here in 
the different legations, and feel almost as much 
at home as among Saginaw people. I have more 
on that subject in the diary. 

To-day is a busy day with packing, telegraph- 
ing for berths, and good-bye calls, so I must 
hurry to breakfast and work. 

Love to all and lots of it, 

Gilbert. 

Shanghai, October i6, 1907. 
Dear Ones, — Am. and I left Ching-wan-toa 
for this place last Friday night by the steamer 
Kaiping. We were due here Monday, but eight- 
een hours out of Ching-wan-toa we ran across the 



138 LETTERS OF 

S. S. Kwang-Ping of the same company, which 
was helpless, having broken her propeller. After 
some excitement, including the capsizing of one 
of our small tenders and the confusion of pulling 
the men out of the water, we attached two cables 
to the unhappy K.-P. and towed her all the way 
to Shanghai, reaching here yesterday after a 
pleasant voyage. The Kaiping had five passen- 
gers besides ourselves, and our accommodations 
were luxurious. Lin is still with us. We dis- 
covered to-day that he has served not only Mr. 

J and Mr. R , but the distinguished 

Sir Robert Hart. 

Now that I have seen the real China and 
grown very fond of the good, simple-hearted peo- 
ple of China, I apologize to Shanghai for my first 
slanders. I am enjoying it this time very much, 
and this hotel is much better than the house 
where I first stayed. Shanghai is just as foreign 
as New York or Paris, and about as gay, but we 
are only here for a brief stay and do not mind the 
little glimpse of home, for we are beginning to 
think of home very often now. 

President Thwing of Western Reserve Univer- 
sity is here with his wife, and Professor Smith 
of Columbia and his wife are travelling with 
them. We spent last evening with his party and 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 139 

Mr. Nu, head of the Chinese government ar- 
senal works, — a Chinaman of great culture, 
educated at Exeter, New Hampshire! 

After long deliberation on our schedule and 
talks with many men, we are not going to the 
Philippines, although it costs us a good deal 
mentally to cut it out. We leave to-night by 
steamer for Foochow, China, and on the 21st 
leave Foochow by steamer for Formosa! Mr. 
James Davidson says, "Of all the dominions 
which have ever acknowledged the authority of 
China, no corresponding portion of area can be 
compared with Formosa in interest and future 
importance, and that equally whether we con- 
sider the richness and variety of its soil, its stores 
of mineral wealth, its scenery, grand and pic- 
turesque ; or the character of its inhabitant tribes 
of savages, as wild and untamed as can be found 
in all Asia and sufficiendy unknown to please 
the wildest ethnologist.'* 

We have good letters to A , the American 

consul at Tamsui, Formosa, and are going to try 
to get up to one of the Japanese frontier posts. 
The trip is as safe as living in Saginaw, but will 
be entirely out of the beaten tourist-track. 

At Pekin we met a great many people and be- 
came great friends with Mr. R , Mr. J , 



140 LETTERS OF 

the legation secretaries, Capt. R , the mili- 
tary attache, and the officers of the American 

Guard, as well as with Mr. McC of the 

Associated Press, a young English merchant, 

and a French banker. Monsieur C . Life at 

Pekin is interesting, and I was glad to meet the 
people there and get a taste of diplomatic life, 
but Shanghai is full of tourists and society, and 
I am glad we are going to a country where there 
is neither. At Pekin we had made plans to 
take a trip into Mongolia and Manchuria with 

D , Mr. S , the Consul at Mukden, Capt. 

R , the attache at Pekin, and M , As- 
sistant Consul at Mukden, who is just out here 
for a year's vacation. He, by the way, is a master 

at Groton, and Dick D is filling his place 

now. This trip would have occupied three weeks, 
and would have been made by S in his of- 
ficial capacity with a big retinue and guard of 
soldiers. It was a wonderful chance to see the 
country, but special orders from Washington 

have made S postpone it a month, and in 

spite of his urging. Am. and I cannot wait. 
This morning we had a very pleasant visit 

with Mr. D , our consul-general here. He 

asked us to dinner to-night, but we are going on 
board our Foochow steamer early, and so refused. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 141 

At Foochow there is no hotel, so D gave 

us a good letter to the consul, and he will prob- 
ably entertain us until our boat leaves for Tam- 
sui, Formosa. 

I am sending you to-day my diary of the Mon- 
golian trip we have just finished. 

The boat on which we leave has only two 
staterooms, but is a nice, comfortable craft, I 
am told. I have not had letters from home in so 
long that I am wild to reach Hong Kong, where 
I know I shall find a big packet. Although we 
are now behind time on our schedule, don't 
change your writing schedule, as I think we shall 
cut out some things and catch up, and anyway 
it is better to have the mail ahead than behind 
one. 

We find that we shall have to sacrifice a great 
many of our plans, and are trying to omit wisely. 
So far, I am sure we have acted for the best and 
do not regret anything that we have done, for 
every day has given us some new information or 
pleasure. 

From the point of view of health and rest the 
trip is a great success. In the East there is 
nothing to do at night, and our bed hour varies 
from eight to ten, averaging about 9.30. I am 



142 LETTERS OF 

also getting more exercise than I have had in 
years. 

Besides the pictures of Mr. S , please find 

enclosed some Mongol cheese and a strip of 
Mongol money. On this cheese we practically 
lived w^hile our carts were lost. 

Loads and loads of love, 

Gilbert. 

P. S. At Pekin we were filled full of informa- 
tion about Manchuria, present affairs in China, 
Japan, and Korea, and many stories of war-time 
and the Boxer trouble by eye-witnesses and per- 
sonal sufferers. For instance, the man who was 
in the carriage with Baron Ketteler when he was 
murdered, and who, himself, ran half a mile with 
a bullet in his hip, pursued by the crowd, is still 
in Pekin. 

We are also buying and reading books on 
recent eastern history, and careful reports of 
travels by men who stand high here and some 
of whom we know personally, so the educational 
side of our trip has been thoroughly justified 
in China, as I am sure it will be all the way 
around. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 143 

Later, October i6, 1907. 

Dear Family, — Yet another word or two. 
In this envelope are the pictures taken by Mr. 

S . On looking them over, I think that the 

one of the Mongol Queen, of the three belles, 
and one of the three groups I have marked i, 11, 
III are good. In iii, notice the two deer facing a 
large crest on the first roof of the temple. These 
deer are a distinctive mark of Mongol temples 
and are gilded. In Mongolia we found numbers 
of larks and a kind of red-billed blackbird almost 
as large as a crow, with a musical caw. Although 
it was late for flowers, we saw lots of larkspur, 
clematis, and edelweiss, and earHer the plains are 

carpeted with flowers. Mr. S says that on 

a three days' trip he has collected fifty varieties, 
as a side-issue of the trip. 

Looking over my notes and the pictures has 
brought back very clearly those kindly, red- 
cheeked, healthy souls who were so kind to us. 

My detailed notes may bore you, for I feel how 
cold and bare they are, and how they fail to give 
you any idea of the warm color, the bracing air, 
and the simple, kindly folk that we lived among 
for twelve days, but if they interest you at all, I 
shall be very glad to know it, for I thought of you 



144 GILBERT LITTLE STARK 

at every new interest that revealed itself, and 
thoroughly enjoyed making a record of it for you. 
Formosa will be fully as interesting, and I hope 
to send you readable letters from there. 

Loads of love, Gilbert. 

Look for the edelweiss in this envelope and 
save it if you can. Gilbert. 



CHAPTER III 
DIARY OF THE MONGOLIAN TRIP 

A Thousand Li on a Donkey 

Nankow, China, September 28, 1907. 

Dear Family, — A thousand // sounds like 
a tremendous distance, and that is why I wrote 
it at the top of this page instead of writing 
"Three hundred and thirty miles " on said quad- 
ruped, which would mean the same thing. 

To-morrow we start across Nankow Pass, 
along the great Mongolian trade route to Kal- 
gan on the Chinese frontier. We decided quite 
suddenly to come, and our boy Lin arranged our 
whole outfit for us in half a day. When we de- 
cided on Kalgan as our objective point, we heard 
the most contradictory reports. We could reach 
there in any length of time from two days to five, 
according to our different advisers. We could 
go in a cart, and yet the road was impassable for 
anything besides donkeys, and a third assured us 
that ten days on Chinese donkeys would lay us 
under the sod without fail. We chose donkeys, 
however, to carry ourselves, and carts for the 
baggage, and our retinue left Pekin this morn- 



146 LETTERS OF 

ing and has just drawn up for the night in the 
inn-compound here at Nankow. We, ourselves, 
did not come by caravan, but started at eight from 
Pekin by train, taking with us Lin the boy, Lee 
the cook, and the coolie. We left the train at the 
end of the line, and a mile walk brought us to 
this inn, which a charcoal scrawl over the gate 
informs us is the "Nankow Hotel — Master's 
name, Lu Su Chung." We tarried only for a cup 
of tea, and mounting in haste, clattered down the 
stone-paved street, forded a shallow stream, and 
were off for the Ming Tombs before that fast 
"Seth Thomas" I treasure could race around 
to half-past twelve. 

We were four: Lin the loose-jointed. Am. the 
amiable, Dick, a Harvard man of last year's out- 
put, and myself. Lin being neutral, the bull-dog 
blue has it two to one on the crimson, but Dick 
keeps us working hard to catch up. Our mounts 
deserve honorable mention; they furnished va- 
riety if not speed. Dick rode a zebra. It was 
oflBcially a mule, but its legs and haunches were 
the regulation convict pattern. Am. rejoiced in 
a donkey that really looked like the beast whose 
name it bore. My horse was a small black pony 
(my Irish will crop out), and Lin rode a mouse. 
They called the mouse a donkey, but it could 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 147 

have strolled about under Am.'s donkey without 
the slightest inconvenience to either party, and, 
as Lin has a tendency towards seven feet, the 
spectacle they presented when in action was like 
Secretary Taft trying to ride a jack-rabbit, if you 
can imagine it. Our path was full of stones and 
great rocks, and soon resolved itself into a mere 
trail with widening spasms now and then, but it 
led through beautiful country. The railroad is 
stopped at Nankow by a range of sharply ser- 
rated mountains that rise abruptly from the 
plains. We skirted the base of this range, keep- 
ing it always on our left, with the great Pekin 
plain stretching away to our right, level as the 
ocean to the horizon. The country seemed rich, 
and is well cultivated with corn and millet, and 
the tiny mud-villages we passed through nestled 
very comfortably beneath large green trees and 
formed a pleasing contrast in alternate patches 
of tree shadow and white sunlit wall. 

After two hours we crossed a low outlying spur 
of hills and looked down into a level basin, almost 
round, and about three miles across. At the back, 
the mountains shot up steeply, with bold, jagged 
outline against a cloudless blue — bare rock — • 
except where a fringe of rich green foliage hid 
their bases. From out this green belt gleamed 



148 LETTERS OF 

the gold roofs and scarlet walls of the Ming 
Tombs. 

The art of choosing situations is a science 
and a religion in China. They call it Fengshuiy 
and of all the deep-rooted superstitions of China 
this one has the deepest roots. Towns, temples, 
graves, houses, all are placed where they will be 
safe from the thousand demons, and where they 
will not offend the Dragon, the Tortoise, and the 
Snake, those mighty dwellers in the earth by 
whose forbearance we mortals live on its surface. 
The Fengshui of these tombs is perfect. For six 
hundred years the Ming emperors have slept 
soundly on this slope, protected by the high 
mountains from the cold winds of the North, 
looking out across the waving grain-fields and 
orchards of the basin and over the low east- 
ern hills, along the great plain, to their own 
capital Pekin, invisible, but straight before 
them. Strange changes they must have seen in 
that capital, but up here in the pleasant hills it 
cannot have troubled them greatly. 

The tombs are scattered, perhaps half a mile 
apart, and some woman has said that they peer 
out like golden pheasants from their native 
copse. The phrase is fantastic; of course they 
don't look a bit like pheasants, and no one but a 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 149 

woman would say so, but there is a suggestion in 
it of the color scheme that Hes before you as you 
cross the protecting spur. 

Another twenty minutes through millet-fields 
and persimmon orchards found us on a broad 
weed-grown avenue paved with large stone blocks. 
Up this avenue we rode, across marble bridges, 
to the very gate of the tomb of Emperor Ming 
the First. 

A generous pink wall with an overhanging 
roof of yellow tiles and a strong locked gate 
barred further progress, and while one of our 
donkey boys beat it, on the mouse, down to the 
village for the key, we had plenty of leisure for tif- 
fin, which we spread on some marble fragments 
in a near-by grove, and a careful study of the blue 
and yellow frieze of porcelain dragons above the 
archway. A small crowd of men and boys came 
from the fields with their clumsy reaping-hooks 
and squatted around us on their heels. Ripples 
of amusement in the audience greeted each stage 
of the tiffin, and great was the consternation 
when luxurious Lin opened a bottle of beer he 
had brought from Pekin, and the froth poured 
down the bottle's side. 

At last, an old gentleman, with five long 
whiskers, a skimpy pigtail, and a long staff, un- 



150 LETTERS OF 

locked the gate with a tremendous iron key. Our 
entire party, including the audience and the me- 
nagerie on which we had travelled so far, passed 
through the open gate into a grassy park. At each 
side was a small square tower, and in front of 
us a temple-shaped building open to the winds, 
through which we passed to another part of the 
garden. This section holds some fine hardwoods 
and evergreens, and at the right a marble tor- 
toise, large as a piano, stands under a stone can- 
opy, holding on his back a shaft of marble taller 
than two tall men, on top of which is crouched 
a leering dragon. Underneath, they tell us, is a 
living tortoise who has breathed through two 
tiny holes at the base of the monument for the 
last six hundred years. When we reached the 
tortoise pavilion, our smallest donkey had clam- 
bered in ahead of us and stood defying the mon- 
ster bravely. He refused to be coaxed or pushed 
away, and so we left him, but he soon rejoined 
us. In a direct line with the outer gate and the 
temple-shaped gate is the main building, a huge 
stone temple with a triple terrace leading up to 
its broad gallery. Along the edge of each terrace 
is a marble balustrade with elaborately carved 
posts at frequent intervals. Peacocks, griffins, 
geese — every design seemed to be unique. This 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 151 

temple was bare except for a forest of large 
wooden pillars of teak-wood from Burmah, and 
one tiny shrine in the centre. From the back of 
the temple the marble path leads straight on past 
a yellow porcelain shrine, through two gates, or 
rather arches, around both sides of a long stone 
table supporting marble urns, and then directly 
into the centre of a massive stone tower with 
a red superstructure of cement-like substance. 
Above, in an open arch and under a flawless red 
marble shaft inscribed with his royal name, lies 
the founder of the dynasty of Ming. Lin says 
his body is in the little shrine of the big temple, 
but I am sure he is in the huge windowless tower, 
solid masonry except for the slanting tunnel 
which leads to the upper platform. 

Back through the gardens with our retinue, 
back through the temple with its marble balus- 
trades full of luxuriant bushes and flowers that 
have sprung up unplanted under the temple 
gate, a garden growing between the gold-colored 
tiles of its roof; a dish of tay with the gatekeeper, 
and a little excitement recapturing the menage- 
rie, and we were off down the marble high- 
way. 

We followed this old road beyond the place 
where we had first joined it, and half an hour's 



152 LETTERS OF 

riding brought us to a triple arch, a proud red 
edifice where ancient pilgrims dismounted from 
their horses and continued on foot, in the days 
before the Manchu reign. 

" Present arms, hi ! " There were eight mar- 
ble mandarins performing that honorable ma- 
noeuvre for us as soon as ever we had passed the 
archway. Dignified princes they are, about ten 
feet high, with lots of elbow-room, fifty yards of 
it, between each one. Then four giant soldiers, 
complete in marble armor, two on each side of 
us to see we maintained proper dignity, and then 
begins a menagerie that puts ours to shame. First 
horses, then griffins, elephants, camels, some un- 
known beast like a unicorn ; last, fierce lions, four 
of each type, the first pair of each standing, the 
second sitting; all marble and all much larger 
than life size. They must extend for over a mile, 
and very effective they are, standing in the edge 
of the millet, with never a fence, or a signboard, 
or any other ugly artifice to show that they 
did not grow there. For six hundred years those 
patient elephants have stood there without feel- 
ing in the least tired, and for six hundred years 
those supercilious camels have sat peacefully 
oblivious of the mighty emperors with glittering 
trains who have visited their fathers' shrines. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 153 

A good many millet crops have ripened behind 
them, and the farmers that plant them have been 
renewed almost as often as the crops, but nothing 
has changed and, barring a few picturesque 
weeds in the roadway, Marco Polo could stroll 
between the marble sentinels and never know 
that this was the twentieth, not the fifteenth cen- 
tury. (I 'm not sure that Marco lived in the fif- 
teenth century, or that he ever came up from 
Pekin to see the tombs, if they existed in his time, 
but the point is the same, nevertheless.) 

It took us about three hours to reach Nankow 
again from the avenue of beasts, but it was an 
interesting ride and only too short. Am. insisted 
on greeting the peasants with English remarks, 
and they answered like an echo with a perfect 
repetition of his words. " How the hell are you ? " 
he called to a reaper on the hillside, as he scuttled 
past on his donkey. "How the hell are you ^" 
came back the reply in perfect Enghsh. Pro- 
viding the sentence was short enough, it was 
mimicked syllable for syllable. 

The sun had just set when we passed the city 
gate, and the narrow stone-paved street was so 
dark that our animals floundered and slipped 
from rut to puddle. 

Our inn is probably the best we shall strike 



154 LETTERS OF 

on the whole trip, as foreigners come here com- 
paratively often. The entrance is through an 
arched gateway into a large, muddy courtyard 
full of carts, with donkeys and ponies standing in 
mud stables along the sides. A gate at the back 
leads into a clean, stone-paved court, with a mat- 
roof held above it on pole scaffolding. In the 
centre of this mat-roof is a square opening to 
the sky, and directly underneath are some small 
potted trees. The rooms of the hotel are grouped 
in one-storied buildings around this court. We 
have taken possession of the proudest room, 
situated opposite the gate. One of the side rooms 
is occupied by our servants and another is our 
kitchen. Everything seems very private and 
quiet. Our room has in it a square Chinese table 
and some equally square Chinese chairs, and one 
half of the room is occupied by a brick platform 
three feet high, covered with a thin grass mat. 
This is our bed, and if it was only cold enough, 
they would builff a fire underneath to keep us 
warm. Although we have only made twenty 
miles to-day, I am sleepy, and bed sounds like a 
mighty good place. Good-night. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 155 

Whei-lei-chen, Chili Province, 
September 29, Sunday. 

Lin called us at five-thirty this morning, and 
by half-past six our valiant cook had prepared a 
feast for us — good coffee, bacon and eggs, and 
a little chicken left from yesterday. We started 
on foot, leaving the donkeys and carts to follow. 
Our cavalcade is now^ of quite imposing pro- 
portions. Two covered springless carts, with a 
driver and two horses tandem apiece, to carry 
the bedding and guns. Four donkeys — two 
gray and two black — with horse-hair bridles 
and great red pads instead of saddles. Two 
donkey boys, one cook, one coolie, Lin, and we 
three pilgrims. The cook presides over one cart, 
while the coolie crouches on the shafts of the 
other; the drivers walk. 

Our road led, first, straight into the moun- 
tains beside a clear running stream. The ground 
is too steep for cultivation, but villages are fre- 
quent and the hillsides are covered with flocks 
of sheep or herds of goats and camels. Just as 
we were entering one picturesque walled town, 
with a ponderous, frowning gate, a mass of sheep 
rushed towards us from the other side. For al- 
most ten minutes they poured out like a great 



156 LETTERS OF 

river, and the rubbing of fleece against fleece was 
like the sound of rushing water. The shepherds 
told Lin that they had twelve hundred animals 
in their flock. 

The life of the road is always changing and al- 
ways interesting. Lumbering two-wheeled carts, 
from the covered depths of which some painted 
and be-flowered Manchu lady peers; trains of 
soft-footed camels; strings of donkeys carrying 
loads of grain three times their own size ; beg- 
gars in ragged cloaks; mounted farmers from 
the hills trotting down to market — one could 
never tire of it all. 

About half-past ten we reached the summit of 
the pass, and on the ridge ahead of us, curved 
like a long snake and climbing the steepest crests 
as far as the eye could reach, was the Great Wall 
of China. 

We soon reached the tower through which 
the road passes, and, turning our donkeys loose 
to graze, we climbed the wall. The top is as 
wide as an ordinary road, and grown with grass 
and flowers. On one side you look down the 
pass and even catch a distant glimpse of the 
Pekin plain. On the other side you look over 
parapets, across a fertile plateau, to a still higher 
range of jagged peaks. To left and right the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 157 

wall winds up and down over the mountains, 
out of sight. 

While Lin spread the tiffin in a shady ruined 
tower, we climbed along the top of the wall to 
another large tower perhaps eight hundred feet 
higher. At some places the angle of ascent was 
more than forty-five degrees, and instead of a 
slanting roadway we climbed steep steps of stone. 

We lingered perhaps an hour over tiffin, then 
pushed on for fifty-eight // to this inn at Whei- 
lei-chen. From the wall, the road led through 
the valley we had looked into from the wall, over 
a desert-like plain on which the frequent villages 
made green oases. The first startHng sight was 
a dead camel by the roadside, with eight men 
squatting about, skinning the creature with long 
knives. As we approached one village, a wild- 
looking horseman rode up on a gaunt, long- 
legged pony. His clothes were padded like quilts 
and he wore a fur cap, for it is cool here even at 
midday. Over his saddle were draped blankets 
and sheepskins. Am. took off his belt and started 
beating his little donkey, and the wild horseman 
took up the challenge; so off we dashed in a mad 
race for the gate. The Mongolian won, and van- 
ished in a cloud of dust down the road. 

Towards five o'clock we sighted a large temple 



158 LETTERS OF 

or monastery covering the top of a small hill, and 
just behind it the battlements and wall-towers of 
a large city, with three stpne arches of a ruined 
bridge reaching out at the side into a river that 
ran along the wall. 

The streets of this town were neither paved 
with ill-sorted stone slabs, not filled with deep 
mud ruts, but they were level, clean, and gravelly, 
and the houses had a stone terrace along the 
front covered by the house-roof, supported with 
slender pillars at the outer edge. Nearly every 
house had at least one cage of birds hanging 
out in front, and some of the men were sitting on 
the stone porches holding twigs on which were 
perched birds tied by the foot. I think that these 
birds are larks or thrushes. 

The inn where we are quartered is a large one, 
but all of the rooms open on the court where 
the animals are kept. While we were eating 
dinner by candle-light, two donkeys alternately 
peered in the door or danced a clog on the brick 
platform outside. 

It is very cold, almost like December nights 
at home, but the weather has been cloudless for 
two days, and so clear that the tiniest details of 
distant hills are visible. 

It is remarkable what our cook manages to 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 159 

do. We brought with us only salt, pepper, but- 
ter, tea, coffee, sugar, and a little bread and jam, 
expecting to rough it, but we are Hvinghke kings, 
entirely off the country. To-night we had millet 
soup, fresh fish, roast mutton and green peas, 
broiled chicken, apples, grapes, and delicious tea. 
Beat that if you can. 

Hurrah for the wilds of Mongolia ! they have 
Sherry's lashed to the mast! Good-night. 

Ching-ming-ee, Chili, China, 
September 30, 1907. 

This morning at six o'clock Lin brought in 
candles and told us it was time to get up. A dim 
gray light filtered through our paper window, 
and the brick floor was clammy to the foot. Old 
South Middle was draughty, and the mornings 
in New Haven are sometimes very cold, but this 
morning was a record-breaker. I think I shall 
surely invest in a fur coat at Kalgan. Am. 
stripped and stood out in the courtyard, while I 
threw buckets of icy water over him, to the great 
delight of the animals and drivers that were 
awake. After a good hot breakfast we started 
down the road. 

This has been the third cloudless day, and the 
air has been crisp and keen, so that even at noon 



i6o LETTERS OF 

our hands were stiff with cold, and the wind 
sweeping down from the mountains fairly sends 
your blood bounding through your veins. 

All d^y we have been travelling down the val- 
ley we entered yesterday, with high rocky peaks 
on both sides of us, shutting us in behind and 
ahead. There is no vegetation on these hills, 
and the colors are like Colorado and Arizona. 
The valley floor is perhaps fifteen miles broad, 
and I should judge over fifty miles in length, 
and it is planted with fields of millet and buck- 
wheat. 

The frequent mud villages have disappeared 
in this more exposed country, and all the houses 
are gathered into walled towns about four miles 
apart. The character of the valley formation is 
exactly what I have always imagined Palestine 
to be. A road now spreading out into a broad 
caravan track, now cutting down into the soil, 
with high mud sides perpendicular and broken 
fantastically. Strings of camels, and tall, graceful 
trees forming oases around a little pool or stream. 
The people hide their pigtails under turbans or 
round caps, and it is hard to believe that this is 
China. 

We stopped for tiffin at a large town, with high 
walls in excellent preservation. As the sunny 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK i6i 

side of our caravanserai was teeming with flies, 
and the shady side too cool for comfort, Dick and 
I sat in the street to write. I think there must 
have been twenty spectators gathered close 
around each of us, and we could easily catch the 
sense of their remarks. "What a stupid man! 
see, he writes across the page, and backwards at 
that ! Oh, these foreigners ! " Just before we left 
the inn, I saw our cook calmly sawing off the 
heads from two or three hens with a carving 
knife, so I guess we shall have chicken for some 
time. 

All afternoon we had a companion. He was 
a little Mohammedan boy returning home from 
a visit to neighbors. He wore a black round 
brimless cap with a red button; a long gray 
wadded coat belted at the waist; white baggy 
trousers tucked into green shoes with thick soles 
of white felt, and his tiny stiff pigtail was wrapped 
with red string. He was very sociable, and en- 
enjoyed travelling with us because he could 
watch our queer ways. We called him Commo- 
dore, and that tickled him so that he gave us 
some dried beans to chew. 

During the afternoon we bought some fresh 

^dates. They are about the shape and color of 

pecan nuts and taste a bit Hke an apple. The 



i62 LETTERS OF 

real apples you get here are small, but excel- 
lent in flavor. The pears are mostly wood and 
water, like the Japanese nahiy and the grapes 
are tart and very refreshing. 

We reached Ching-ming-ee at five o'clock, and 
turned into the yard of an inn built outside the 
city walls and right against them. It is the most 
picturesque inn we have yet seen. The battle- 
ments on this wall, which is perhaps twenty-five 
feet high, are in much better repair than usual. 
I did not see even a broken parapet, and the 
towers are frequent and imposing. Before the 
inn is a pleasing view over the whole valley, with 
a river at the farther side, overhung now by long 
shreds of mist. Above the parapets, under which 
we are resting, is the top of a very high, steep 
table-mountain. We can just make out the form 
of two clusters of temples on the summit, with 
a bridge connecting them, a great arch through 
which we can see the light, but so far above us 
that it looks like a pin-hole through the rock; 
they tell us it is all of marble. It would be an in- 
teresting ascent if we had time, but it is so steep 
that it would take at least one whole day for the 
expedition. 

To-night the colors are like a picture by Max- 
field Parrish. A yellow sky behind the jagged 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 163 

mountains, and all the rich browns and greens 
of wall and valley melted into a misty blue, 
through which details are lost and the passing 
camel magnified to a tremendous shadowy size. 
These beasts always travel at night so they can 
have a clear road, and they start their day's work 
just as we end ours. 

They have closed the courtyard gate, candles 
are lighted, and supper is on the table; after 
supper — bed. 

Chuen-Wha-Fu, Chili, China, 
October i, 1907. 

A very cold day it has been. We started while 
the valley was still misty and ascended a river 
gorge, behind the sacred mountain, on to a small 
plateau that is evidently submerged at high wa- 
ter. Here we forded several small streams, whip- 
ping our donkeys back to bring the boys over, 
although at one place a human ferry saved us 
the trouble; we also got some good pictures of 
a large herd of camels drinking. We see from 
three to six hundred of these beasts daily, and if 
our average keeps up, will have passed from three 
to six thousand of them on the road before we re- 
turn to Pekin. A pass, with a wall built along 
the outer edge of the solid rock roadway, led us 



i64 LETTERS OF 

to our third plateau, a sandy, mountain-enclosed 
plain possibly thirty miles in length and dotted 
with willow trees. In the hills of the pass we 
heard pheasants chuckling at us from every 
ridge, and saw a large flock of wild geese. 

We ate tiffin at an unusually small and poor 
village, and hurried on about one o'clock. Dur- 
ing the afternoon it rained very hard for an hour, 
so we did not make such good time as usual. 
Towards evening it cleared, and we saw the walls 
of a very large city, Chuen-Wha-Fu, where we are 
now resting. The walls enclose a space that must 
be three miles square, and are in perfect repair. 
The wall itself is about forty feet high, and the 
corner towers and two-storied gates are twice 
the height. The town is busy and interesting, 
and seems to drive a thriving trade in sheep- 
skin coats. Our noble cook has just invested in 
one. 

We were escorted on our ramble through the 
streets by about fifty mild barbarians who caused 
no trouble at all. Am. turned at one corner and 
gave them a long harangue on the joys and merits 
of supporting the PopuHst party. "What has the 
Republican party done for you I" he shouted. 
They appeared politely interested, but did not 
pledge their votes. Many of the shops had im- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 165 

ages of monkeys with red faces guarding the 
goods. 

Our evening meal is a never-ending delight. 
It is always served in a bare, plastered room, with 
one or two fantastic Chinese prints pasted on the 
wall, and half the room occupied by the big 
stove-bed. Lin spreads the table with a snowy 
cloth, and the two candles we allow throw great 
shadows over the brick floor and into all the cor- 
ners. Lin glides quietly about in the darkness 
behind our chairs, and places course after course 
of fresh, well-cooked food before us, which the 
coolie brings from the kitchen. All this luxury 
at about half the price per day of a poor hotel at 
home. We are all in perfect health so far, and fit 
as fiddles. " Full of Health and Hunger,'' as 
Dick says. To-morrow we reach Kalgan and 
the Mongolian frontier. 

Kalgan, Wednesday, October 2, 1907. 
This is the strangest, most interesting place 
we have seen in China. It is well worth coming 
to see, even if the country along the road were 
deadly dull, which it is not. The town is very 
large, one hundred thousand inhabitants, and is 
not confined to the city walls, but spreads over 
the surrounding country. It is the great depot. 



i66 LETTERS OF 

the clearing-house between China and Mongolia, 
and a large proportion of its population is float- 
ing. Whole streets along the outskirts are filled 
with temporary shops and tents, and look like 
circus encampments. 

We left Chuen-Wha-Fu rather later than we 
usually start on the day's journey, and have 
travelled much more leisurely than our custom 
is, for the day's stage has been only sixty //. 
Towards ten o'clock Dick became excited by the 
flocks of pigeons wheeling above the millet-fields, 
and the pheasants chuckling on the ridges, and 
unlimbering his shotgun, took to the fields. He 
was followed by one of our donkey boys leading 
Dick's beast, expecting in the simplicity of his 
Chinese soul to bring the donkey back loaded 
with game. All the peasants within sight left 
their reaping and joined the procession, and as 
they drew farther oflT across the open country, 
we saw two wild-looking individuals with long 
red tasselled spears come sprinting over the lea 
towards our luckless Dick. Lin informed us, 
however, that they were not bandits, but only 
part of some ofiTLcial's escort, who were curious to 
see what the foolish foreigner was up to. When 
Dick rejoined us with a bag of pigeons, he told 
us that it had been very difficult to avoid adding 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 167 

several farmers to the day's kill, as the gentle 
rustics insisted on peering down the barrel when- 
ever he made ready to shoot. Wanted to watch 
the bullet come out, you know. Then, whenever 
he dropped a bird, the whole procession would 
beat it to the spot, to watch the death-struggle, 
and every empty shell that he threw away almost 
caused civil war. 

The life of the road is more and more inter- 
esting day by day. Travel a sample mile of it 
with me. A long train of camels, sixty or a hun- 
dred of them, loaded with wool and grain. Some 
of the drivers are walking and some are being 
tossed about like ships at sea on the summits of 
the swaying camel-packs. Each beast is fastened 
to the one in front by a rope through its nose, and 
the hindermost wears a deep-toned brass bell a 
foot long. All through the night we hear the slow, 
solemn bells of the passing camel-trains. Usually 
they take no notice as we pass, but sometimes 
they swing their long necks toward us and 
wither us with a supercilious stare. I can bear 
anything but the contempt of a camel ! 

The camels are no sooner past than a party of 
northern farmers trot by on shaggy ponies, wear- 
ing round black caps or fur hats, and sheep or 
goatskin coats, with thick, quilted trousers that 



i68 LETTERS OF 

stick out like a Dutchman's breeches. Far ahead 
we see a cloud of dust and a low line like an 
advancing army stretching across the road, and 
before long we are struggling through a sheep- 
jam, with long-necked, Roman-nosed, fat-tailed 
beasts packed close against our legs. Droves of 
hogs, herds of square goats with long blue hair 
and curly horns, droves of ponies, lines of tiny 
donkeys buried under great loads of millet, 
Pekin carts, sedan-chairs, palanquins swung 
between two mules walking Indian-file, two- 
wheeled open carts with five strong mules to 
pull them, foot-travellers or porters with loads 
balanced on each end of a long pole. These 
things we see not once a day, but as many times 
a day as there are fingers and toes in the party. 
I was going to add eyes, but we are not well 
furnished with eyes. We have ten humans, if 
you count the coolie as one, and eight animals 
in our train, but, instead of thirty-six eyes, we 
content ourselves with thirty-two. One of the 
cart mules has none, his mate has only one, and 
Bat-Eyed Bill, the first donkey agitator, leers at 
us with one glistening orb, the other being of an 
opaque whiteness highly valued in a pearl, but 
not much esteemed in the human eye. 

At noon we lunched in the Holy Land. We 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 169 

had been crossing a desert-like plain, from which 
we looked back on the far-off walls of Chuen- 
Wha-Fu surrounded by groves of willows and 
red-topped millet-fields. At last these faded away, 
and not a green bush did we see, until towards 
noon we drew near a group of wide-spreading 
elms. Beneath their shade was a pool, with 
wash-women kneeling at its edge, and three 
camels standing like statues; on the farther bank 
was a rambling inn and a crowd of carts and 
donkeys. During the hour we allowed for rest I 
sat under one of the great trees, writing and eat- 
ing grapes. A simple occupation one might think, 
and yet it furnished mild amusement to no less 
than forty persons who stood about me, five 
deep at least. Two or three soldiers were in the 
audience, with muzzle-loaders strapped on to 
their backs, several spearmen from the train of 
some official who was taking tea at the inn, sun- 
burnt farmers, camel-drivers, a priest with shaven 
head, a prosperous-looking trader who made 
a friendly speech of great length, not one word 
of which I could understand, and three children 
for every grown-up of the party. Funny children, 
with red worsted pigtails sticking out in every 
direction, like Topsy's, a ring in one ear, and 
pantaloons like overalls without any seats at all. 



170 LETTERS OF 

It was a very polite crowd, and if I wanted to 
see an object in the distance in any direction, I 
had only to wave my hand, and the crowd rolled 
back like the Red Sea, opening up a lane wide 
enough for the Lord Mayor to pass through. 

We reached Kalgan early in the afternoon, and 
found the good rooms at most of the inns already 
taken, but we discovered that the Catholic mis- 
sionary was away, and finally persuaded his ser- 
vants to admit us to the mission compound, where 
we were very comfortable. We soon learned that 
there are only five foreigners here, and two of 
them are Americans. As we wished to get some 
information that our boys could not discover 
about the return route, we set out about five 
o'clock to visit these Americans at their com- 
pound, a mile distant. 

Mr. and Mrs. S received us heartily, and 

told us that they were missionaries and had been 

in Kalgan for thirty years. Mr. S assured 

us that we would be very foolish to return to 
Pekin without pushing on for a little way into 
Mongolia. The result of the visit was that Mr. 

S has decided to take a vacation for three 

days and lead us into Mongolia, to visit an old 
Mongol priest that he has known for years. It 
is a windfall of good fortune for us, as Mr. S 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 171 

is excellently well informed on things Mongolian. 
He fled the whole length of the country in 1900 
to escape the Boxers, reaching the Russian rail- 
way at Lake Baikal after two months' travel in 
camel carts with women and children. We start 
to-morrow at 6.30, and shall be back in Kalgan 
on Saturday night. 

The street on which we are quartered is a wide, 
dusty thoroughfare with a double row of shops 
and tent-stalls on each side, where you can buy 
furs and brasses of all descriptions. They have 
even Russian samovars that have travelled down 
from Siberia. The street is full of life and sun- 
shine, and noisy with the jangle of bells and 
shouting and clatter of traffic. As the twilight 
deepens, long, soft-footed trains of camels steal 
out of the inn-gates like shadows, and the 
mournful "tonk-tonk" of the camel-bells begins 
and lasts until morning. 

Da Shoya's tents, Mongolia, 
Thursday, October 3. 

This morning we were up before the sun, and 
Am. shivered in the courtyard while I applied the 
Swedish cold-water treatment to his spinal col- 
umn, to the great glee of the inhabitants of Kal- 
gan. Mr. S appeared with his white pony 



172 LETTERS OF 

and a roll of bedding before we were through 
breakfast, and we were off without delay. We 
have not carried out our threats to buy fur coats 

here, for Mrs. S with kind forethought sent 

down three. We have invested in heavy gloves, 
however, and they are not a luxury but a necessity ! 

Just before leaving the city this morning, we 
entered a delightful quarter, with neat houses 
and a broad street, in the centre of which bloomed 
flower gardens. Birds in cages hung at every 
door, and a temple on the city wall gave an air 
of calm protection. "What sort of a paradise is 
this ? " cried Dick, and imagine the cynical joy 
with which we three embryo bachelors learned 
that it is an Eden without an Eve. It is a "Men- 
only" district, and the fair sex may not settle 
therein to sow discord among men; and yet I 
imagine the dwellers therein must be rather lone- 
some, for all their flowers and birds and quiet 
houses. 

Just beyond this quarter we passed through 
a gate in the real Great Wall of China and were 
in Mongolia. The wall at Nankow is a modern 
wing, we are told, a garish new thing of a slightly 
later date than the Crusades, but this is the 
outer ring, the-one-and-only-all-others-imitations 
Great Wall, antedating the Christian Era. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 173 

It is not a massive crenellated fortress like the 
Nankow wall. It was built before men knew 
how to shape blocks of stone, and is a monument 
of almost prehistoric times. It is triangular, 
about fifteen feet high and fifteen feet wide at 
the base, with hardly room at the top for a man 
to walk. It is a grim pile of loose cobbles and 
boulders that have clung together some way for 
more than two thousand years. It walks over 
mountains that rise half a mile straight in the 
air, and on every hill-top it shoots up a formid- 
able tower. It is a rude, elemental thing, but 
you feel like taking off your hat to it. 

Just beyond the wall they were holding a pony 
fair, and we saw our first real Mongols — red 
men, with broad faces, narrow eyes, and teeth 
white as milk. All that we saw at the fair wore 
long quilted robes of yellow or purple and had 
short hair; horse-trading priests, faith land they 
looked like jolly men as well. 

Kalgan is at the end of a blind valley leading 
up from the main plateau, but the hills before 
us opened up at our approach, and for five hours 
we ascended a pass, more interesting than the 
Nankow Pass. The only village that we passed 
was a village of cave-dwelling Chinese, and inns 
were rare. High above the pass is the perfect 



174 LETTERS OF 

arch of a natural bridge in the rock. When 
Genghis Khan first came their way, he shot an 
arrow through the crest of this hill. If any stupid 
foreigner doubts the tale, let him come and see 
for himself. It must be true — there is the hole ! 

Trains of primitive ox-carts wound down the 
pass, loaded with stiff skins and hides. These 
carts are the second form in the development of 
wagons from rollers to pneumatic tires. The two 
wheels are solid and the axle turns with them. 
The road is very rough in places, and we passed 
two carts with wheels in air and the unfortunate 
ox struggling in a tangle of harness. 

We stopped for a short rest at the summit, 
five thousand feet above sea level. There is a 
small lake here, a very rude inn, and a ruined 

tower of the great wall, — Haknoor, Mr. S 

called it. 

A descent of five hundred feet led to a broad, 
rolling plain that stretched to the north as far 
as we could see ; the nearest edge was broken by 
scattered fields of oats and mustard, but the 
plain proper is clean grass-land, an Asiatic Mon- 
tana, without a tree or even a sage-brush scrub 
in sight. Only grass, tough yellow and green 
grass, and distant herds of grazing cattle scat- 
tered over it like grains of black pepper. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 175 

The roads became manifold and hard to fol- 
low, and at one of the worst tangles of track we 
left a donkey boy to show the carters which way 
we had taken, for the rolling hillocks were so 
frequent that we could not count on their keep- 
ing us in sight. Mr. S was rather in favor 

of waiting for the carts and keeping together, 
but we insisted on pressing ahead. The boy re- 
fused to stay at first, saying that he was afraid, 
but we insisted, for the only possible danger was 
wolves, and they are not in evidence until win- 
ter. After half a dayof steady travelling, we came 
in sight of our destination. A brick wall and 
gate enclosing three or four low buildings and 
six round felt tents. Our approach sent a cloud 
of sparrows, swallows, and pigeons wheeling into 
the air and all the dogs barking. The servants 
greeted us and led us into one of the buildings, 
where our host welcomed us as heartily as 
though we had come at his invitation instead of 
our own. 

He is a short man with a large, close-cropped 
head. His face is broad and high-cheeked and 
scarred. He is the eldest son of the former gov- 
ernor of this part of Mongolia, in days before the 
Eight Banners paid taxes at Kalgan to Chinese 
officials. He was made a priest as half the Mon- 



176 LETTERS OF 

gol boys are, but later he married and became 
what is called a business priest, losing the head- 
ship of the family by his act. He left the old 
home in possession of his brother, whom we shall 
visit to-morrow, and built this place where he 
now lives with his family and several families 
of servants. The Mongols are called nomadic, 
but they do not move often, and rich men like 
Da Shoya, who have comfortable quarters and 
broad lands, never move. 

Mr. S did the necessary talking, and ex- 
plained who we were, while our efforts were 
turned towards Mongol curd cheese and salted 
tea. The cheese was very good, and the tea thirst- 
quenching in spite of the salt. 

After tea we went out to look for signs of the 
carts, but although we had been in an hour and 
the sun was sinking rapidly, there was no sign 
of our stores and bedding. After a little longer 

wait, Mr. S saddled his pony and started 

off in search. The rest of us were helpless, with 
our ignorance of the country and language, and 
could only wait. 

Mr. S had been out of sight only half 

an hour, when a black cloud swept down from 
the north and poured a flood of rain and hail 
on us to the steady accompaniment of thunder. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 177 

The big Siberian dogs chained under a cart in 
the compound came out and growled at the 
storm, but the fierce hail drove them back with 
their tails between their legs. It was a beautiful 
storm, with the setting sun gleaming through it 
on each side and a double rainbow in the east, 
but it caused us a great deal of alarm on Mr. 

S 's account. After the storm it grew dark 

almost immediately, and was bitterly cold. The 
ground was slippery, with an inch of ice which 
showed no signs of melting, and the roads, so 
puzzling in daylight, would be almost impossible 
at night. Besides, although he seems as strong 
as any of us, he is sixty-five years old, and the 
exposure in that storm would not be pleasant 
for the youngest of men. 

We hung out a lantern and shot off guns at 
intervals, taking turns at standing out in the cold 
to listen for a call. At last we heard some 

one shout, and all rushed out and led Mr. S 

back in triumph. No news of the carts or of the 
donkey boy we left behind. 

We are gathered in one of the round felt tents 
which is floored with thick mats. A bright fire 
of dried manure is glowing in a brazier in the 
centre of the tent and filling our eyes with acrid 
smoke. We have just finished an excellent stew 



178 LETTERS OF 

and some oil-cakes which our host sent in, and 
a pile of shaggy goatskins promises a comfort- 
able night for us without our usual blankets. A 
young Mongol priest in bright yellow and a red- 
cheeked, white-toothed boy are sitting with us, 
to blow our fire when it dies down. The top of 
the tent is open and we can see the stars. Our 
carters will have a cold night on the plains — if 
we were not so comfortable, this would be almost 
an adventure! 

Da Shoya's tents, Mongolia, 
Friday, October 4. 

Another glorious day without a cloud. 

This morning we visited a small group of 
Mongol priests who live a few miles to the west 
of Da Shoya, in hopes of learning something of 
our carts. Our first stop was at the tent of a 
small caravan which had not yet begun the day's 
travel. The owners asked us to enter, with the 
true courtesy that very poor people have, the 
world over, and as a polite form, they asked us 
to share the soupy mess which they were all eat- 
ing out of the same pot. We learned from them 
that our donkey boy stopped at their tent this 
morning very early and asked if they had seen 
any foreigners. As they could not give him news 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 179 

of us, he travelled on to the north. So he did not 
meet the carts after all, and had been alone on 
the plains all night. We stopped for a short cup 
of tea with the priests, who looked like convicts 
but treated us Hke old friends, and then hurried 
back to our tent to plan a campaign. We three 

were useless and Mr. S 's horse was tired and 

had not been fed for hours, so we left the search 
for carts and donkey boy in the hands of San 
Lama, the young priest who had sat with us last 
evening and who proves to be Da Shoya's head 
servant. He willingly saddled his horse and was 
off at a dead run. All of these Mongols ride as if 
they had been born in the saddle, the women as 
well as the men. 

At noon we made our third Mongol meal on 
scalded milk, curd cheese, tea, and eggs, with an 
oatmeal cake, which these people use as freely 
as most Orientals use rice. During our noon 
meal we heard a great commotion outside, and 
looking out saw a crowd of people bobbing at 
each other and shaking their own hands, and 
in the centre of it all was the lost donkey boy and 
a Chinaman who had found him some fifteen li 
away and guided him here. He had spent the 
night with some friendly shepherds and had not 
seen the carts. This place is very hard for a 



i8o LETTERS OF 

stranger to find, for it is not near any settlement 
nor on any regular road, and the name Da Shoya 
simply means "elder brother." 

In the afternoon we rode across country to the 
old home of our host's family, which he was 
forced to leave when he became a "marrying 
priest." The younger brother who lives there is 
called Su Shoya, or "temple brother," because 
adjoining the house grounds is an old temple 
where the family ancestors are worshipped. 
The priest willingly led us through the building, 
which is full of treasures that no price could buy 
from them. The interior is dimly lighted and full 
of rugs and soft carpets and hanging flags or 
draperies and the smell of incense. There are 
half-seen gilded idols, with tiny lamps gleaming 
before them. The seats for the priests are low, 
soft cushions, with rug-covered backs, and on 
the tables before them are gold and silver bells 
and bronze incense-burners. The priests showed 
us their ceremoniaf robes and tall, yellow-plumed 
hats like Grecian helmets, and the telescope 
horns twenty feet long that they use in great 
ceremonies, and the little silver trumpets with 
gold figures in relief. The priests were very kind 
and a fine-looking set of men, and I could not 
help thinking how interesting it would be to live 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK i8i 

in one of these Mongol temples for half a year 
and study their lives and ceremonies and reli- 
gion. The Buddhism in Mongolia is untinged 
with Chinese philosophy and comes direct from 
Thibet. The ceremonies and prayer wheels are 
pure Thibetan, and the prayers are all in that 
strange language. 

Su Shoya's house is much more pretentious 
than his elder brother's, and he has some real 
jade and carved crystal which his father owned. 
We were received by his sister, a remarkable old 
lady, who has been the wife of a northern tribal 
king, and who was lately sent home in all honor 
and with a suitable allowance, for the same 
reason that an emperor once set aside Josephine 
Beauharnais. She is a queen in her own house- 
hold, and is much loved by all the family and ser- 
vants. She is an apple-cheeked old lady, who 
dresses plainly in heavy silk and does not use the 
beaten-silver ornaments at all that her humbler 
sisters wear, even when milking the cows ; but 
there is an air of dignity about her jolly, bright 
flow of talk, that all women have who have been 
used to being obeyed always and without ques- 
tion. She had the servants hustling about, and 
soon we were dipping our cheese into bowls of 



i82 LETTERS OF 

thick, sweetened cream, the greatest deHcacy a 
Mongol host can offer. 

The head servant at this house looks just like 
one of Cooper's Indians, a thought which struck 
us all. Among these people, the head servant is 
held to be a member of the family, and some- 
times takes precedence over even the elder son. 
The head servant and the kind old lady pressed 
us to spend the night, but while we were mak- 
ing our excuses, up dashed Polyphemus, better 
known as Bat-Eyed Bill, the half-blind donkey 
boy, with the welcome news that San Lama 
had returned with the carts after an all day's 
search. 

To-night Lee the cook did his best, and we 
invited Da Shoya to a foreign dinner. After- 
wards we gathered in his house and amused him 
with some American close harmony. Am. also 
recited a string of nonsense from " Alice in Won- 
derland," accompanied with extempore grimaces 
of a startHng character which tickled them all, 
from our hosts to the tiny serving-boys ; the lady 
of the house, who was hiding in a dark corner 
of the brick stove-bed, where we could dimly 
see her silver ornaments reflecting the candle, 
could not repress a few titters. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 183 

Kalgan, Chili, China, 
Saturday, October5. 

This morning we left Da Shoya's and made 
the 105 // to Kalgan in very good time, about 
eight hours of actual travel. 

Our brief glimpse of Mongolia has certainly 
been a pleasant one and profitable, and we all 
feel that we shall come back some time, as one 
always feels on leaving a pleasant place. The 
people are so healthy and simple and kindly that 
you cannot choose but like them and want to 
know them better. About half of the men are 
priests, and they wear short hair and yellow, 
purple, or red robes. Their priesthood does not, 
however, prevent their dealing in cattle and 
horses, and making horse-racing a great feature 
of their temple festivals. The men who are not 
priests wear pigtails and dress in long robes of 
a soberer color. Both classes wear heavy leather 
boots lined with felt or fur. The women wear 
boots, and robes that are a little looser than the 
men's, but instead of round caps, they wind their 
heads in cloth turbans. Even the poorest women 
wear heavy ornaments of red beads and beaten 
silver, which they hang, not in the ears, but from 
a band across the forehead. All, except the very 



i84 LETTERS OF 

wealthy, live in round felt tents with open tops, 
which are closed by a flap in stormy weather. 
The only fuel is dried manure, and the only oc- 
cupation is stock-raising. Already the Chinese 
have begun to cultivate the edge of the plains, 
and the Mongols are slowly tending to move 
northward and westward, where there is more 
room for their sheep and goats and horses and 
camels to graze. It is a bitter pill to a race that 
has had its own rulers sitting on the throne at 
Pekin in the days of Kubla Khan and his an- 
cestors. There is also no money among these 
people; coins are used only as ornaments for 
women and boys, and the nearest approach to 
currency is the strips of silk which are presented 
to the priests as offerings. These silk strips are 
used in exchange by the priests at a value cor- 
responding to four American cents. 

When we left this morning, the only payment 
which our hosts would accept for their trouble 
and shelter and provisions was a spoiled kodak 
film, a celluloid soap-box, and a pair of scissors ! 

Shan-si-fu, October 6, 1907. 
To-day we left Kalgan for Pekin, lunched at 
Chuen-Wha-Fu, where we spent our last night on 
the way up, and pushed on to this place, a meagre 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 185 

village, with mud walls and a small inn. The 
weather continues to be a series of blue and gold 
days, and the crisp, keen air makes it not only- 
possible but pleasant to travel ten solid hours. 

Before undertaking this trip I expected, from 
what reading I had done, that the inns would 
be filthy, the people insolently curious, and the 
towns reeking with offence to eye and nose. On 
the contrary, we have not once discovered any 
unwelcome guests in bed or room, except two 
donkeys and one rat, and the only dirt that we 
have had to put up with has been the dust of 
travel. The village streets here are clean and 
broad, and every house has one or sometimes 
four or five cages at the door, in which are larks 
as big as robins. We have walked by the noses 
of hundreds of big shaggy dogs, without having 
them turn a hair, and yet we were told that these 
peaceful creatures make it impossible to pass 
through a country-town on foot! And as for 
crowds, although our every action has been fol- 
lowed by a rather large assembly, never once 
have we met with anything but courtesy and 
good-will and friendly advances. Even when 
Am. insisted on making English political speeches 
to them. 

To-morrow we shall make a very long day of 



i86 LETTERS OF 

it, and arrive at Nankow on Tuesday night, 
shortening the down trip by a whole day. 

Whei-lei-chen, October 7, 1907. 

This morning we breakfasted at a little after 
four and travelled for over an hour before sun- 
rise. It was very cold, but the changing colors 
and growing light in the rocky gorge down which 
we travelled toward Ching-ming-ee were beau- 
tiful, and the morning star remained in sight 
until we reached the river bottom just behind 
the sacred mountain. 

At Ching-ming-ee the landlord of the inn 
where we had stopped on the way up returned to 
us 180 Mexican dollars which Am. had lost, he 
did not know where ! That was the last blow 
to our preconceived notions of the Chinese, for 
our inn-keeper did not even know that we were 
returning this way. Of course the recovery is 
probably due to the severe penalties against 
stealing, but, nevertheless, the occurrence is 
remarkable. 

This Whei-lei-chen is the town with the ruined 
stone bridge and the monastery fortress on a 
hill, where we stayed the first night on our trip 
up country. We have made one hundred and 
forty // to-day and are all a bit tired. You should 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 187 

see the sunburn on Am. and Dick, but I suppose 
I am just as much burned as the rest, for if I 
look cross-eyed, I can see the end of my nose 
glowing like a live coal. 

To-day the air has been full of wild geese, and 
we have passed pheasants and blue cranes innu- 
merable. It has been our tenth almost cloud- 
less day, and the light and color and vigor in the 
air cannot be described. There is no charm 
about this country of the sort that you feel in 
Japan. It is a hard, rocky, brilliant, treeless 
land, where the people work hard from sunrise 
to sunset, and sleep hard from sunset to sunrise, 
and have no luxuries; they do not even try to 
amuse themselves, these people ; they have none 
but the crudest arts or comforts, and yet they 
are as happy as any people I have ever seen. 
No, there is no charm about this land, but there 
is certainly great fascination. The boldness of 
outline and the pure cold air and clean sunlight 
do not tire you, as mere prettiness often does; 
and although we do nothing but walk and eat 
and sleep, it has never once occurred to us to 
be bored, as one is often in the cities. 

All of these walled towns like Whei-lei-chen 
are surrounded by groups of beaten clay floors 
like tennis courts, and on these floors whole 



i88 LETTERS OF 

families work, just as families worked while the 
Bible was being written. At one end of the floor 
the boys are unloading millet from the donkeys 
and stacking it in heaps. In the centre a blind- 
folded donkey is dragging a stone roller round 
and round over the grain. The young men are 
using flails on other heaps of millet, and the old 
men help with lighter paddles. The women take 
the threshed grain in long willow trays and toss 
it high in the air, so that the chaff is blown away 
in a light cloud and the grain falls in a neat pile 
on the clean, hard floor. As we drew near to 
Whei-lei-chen this afternoon we passed group 
after group of these threshing-floors, six or eight 
clustered together under heavy masses of willow 
foliage. Each floor was gay with the bright 
clothing of the women and children and the bare 
backs of the men, and from each floor we caught 
scraps of laughter and the quavering falsetto 
songs that the Chinese love. The light was a 
mellow glow, like those rich floods of late sun- 
shine that Corot poured into his landscapes ; the 
piles of dry stalks gleamed with warm reds and 
browns, and the clouds of chaff that the win- 
nowers threw into the air, a dozen clouds in sight 
at once, caught the sun and showed like puffs of 
golden smoke. A pleasant picture with a back- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 189 

ground of crenellated wall and jagged moun- 
tains, and a rich deep blue above. 

Nankow, October 8, 1907. 

To-day we have finished our thousand li, with 
a trifle over to our credit. To-morrow we shall 
catch the early train for Pekin. 

To-night we have seen the last of Bill Bat- 
Eye, who is always cold, and the willing Sheep- 
skin Boy, as we called the other donkey-beater, 
because of his fur clothes. Lee is now a thing of 
the past, too, — Lee the cook, the dandy, the 
three hundred and fifty pound beauty with a 
double chin thrice repeated. Lee is a man of 
great eloquence, I should judge, for I have often 
heard him haranguing an admiring group in 
some inn-yard, with his fur cloak hung brigand- 
like on one shoulder, and his portly person ill 
concealed by figured yellow pyjamas, which he 
much affected as an afternoon costume. Lee is a 
man of distinguished manner, and the way he 
sweeps the ground with his battered felt fedora 
when we pass his cart would be the despair of 
any Spanish cavalier that ever wore plumes. 
Lee's only vice is the banjo, which he plays every 
evening for half an hour after dinner. He sits 
on the stove during the concerts, and wears his 



iQo GILBEpRT LITTLE STARK 

yellow pyjamas and felt fedora. He is also alone, 
for reasons that are immediately evident to the 
auditor or audible to the spectator. I know, for 
I peeked at him once from the dark court out- 
side. He sometimes sings as he plays, but he 
cooked excellent meals so I will say nothing 
further on that point. 

To-morrow, civilization, beds, bath-tubs, tour- 
ists. Well, it is better to be very sorry that a 
thing is over than to be sorry that it is not. 



CHAPTER IV 

LETTERS AND JOURNAL OF THE FORMOSA 
TRIP 

The Yellow Sea, 
One day out from Shanghai, 
Thursday, October 17, 1907. 

Dear Mother, — Hi 'opes as 'ow you are 
quite chipper. I 've heard so much Scotch brogue 
and Cockney accent from the officers on this 
boat that I daon't knaow 'aow to talk proper 
nao mowr. 

Yestreen Am. and I said farewell to the 

T s and the S s and started out to find 

this worthy ship — the Loksang. Lin and the 
baggage had forestalled us by about two hours, 
and so we had no worries or responsibilities 
besides getting ourselves on board. I had a dim 
idea of where the craft should be, and we walked 
along the wharves until we reached a lonely dis- 
trict — great, dark warehouses on one side and 
the river on the other. The wharves became dis- 
connected floats on to which we clambered, across 
narrow gangways, and water-slips barred our 
way; but we always managed to get across some 



192 LETTERS OF 

way on barges or locks. Finally a wall stopped 
us dead and we were afraid we should have to 
retrace all our steps, but hearing voices some- 
where in the darkness, we hunted them up and 
broke in on a gambling party of Chinese watch- 
men and wharf-rats. They were a tough-looking 
crowd and it was a black, ruinous district, but 
they were very courteous, and unlocked a gate 
for us after we had explained our trouble by 
signs. Finally we discovered our little boat out 
in the middle of the river, and climbing over the 
sleeping inmates of a couple of big barges, we 
jumped into a sampan and were soon aboard 
the Loksang. 

She is a rather small vessel, 960 tons net, with 
only two staterooms, but our cabin is twice the 
size of that on a liner and the food is excellent, 
as it has been on all the boats we have struck 
so far. 

When we came on board, the saloon was 
lighted by the conventional dimly-burning ship's 
lamp, and underneath it were seated a black- 
visaged, square-jawed man, the mate of course, 
and a small German with pointed beard, broad- 
reaching mustachios, and a quick, nervous eye 
and twitching mouth. He was forever starting a 
story, which the mate would ponderously inter- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 193 

rupt with another of his own. On these coast- 
ing boats we get well away from tourist travel 
and meet a set of characters that I have never 
known to exist anywhere else, outside of story- 
books. Our officers have the greatest string of 
yarns imaginable, and have spun us the list of 
their adventures — whaHng in the north, sea- 
lion and penguin-hunting in the Antarctic Ocean, 
" black-birding'' or "nigger-stealing" for the 
French Government in the South Sea Islands, — 
a novelist would cry over these men, as a forty- 
niner might have done over a new gold field. 

Friday, October i8. 

All day we have sailed over a dreamy blue sea, 
with hundreds of rocky islands drifting about 
us far and near in a rich golden haze. From 
Shanghai to Hong Kong the coasting route leads 
through these islands; one continuous archi- 
pelago, like Japan's Inland Sea. These waters 
are the famous haunts of Chinese pirates, who 
still lurk in some of the rock-bound bays here- 
abouts. The great, goggle-eyed junks we pass 
are all in groups for safety's sake, and the inno- 
cent-looking fisher boats, whose orange sails dot 
the blue water, need only opportunity to make 
them turn sea-rovers. 



194 LETTERS OF 

Saturday, October 19. 

This morning at nine we cast anchor at Pa- 
goda anchorage, thirty miles up the beautiful 
Min River, and fourteen miles from the city of 
Foochow. The Amoy Maru, which is to carry 
us to Formosa, lay near us at Pagoda, and we 
put most of our baggage aboard her, taking only 
toilet articles to the city. We received rather a 
setback, however, when we learned that she is 
not sailing to-morrow as per schedule, but on 
next Tuesday. Such is the East, as we have 
learned already, so we did not waste any time 
crying over our troubles, but took a handy launch 
to Foochow. Aboard the launch we met Mr. 
W , the consul at Hong Kong, who is work- 
ing north on a vacation leave of several weeks. 
We discovered that he is a Yale man, class of 
'84, and were soon friends. 

There is no hotel at Foochow, but we estab- 
lished ourselves comfortably in some rooms over 
"Mr. Brockett's General Store," and then set 

out for the Consulate, with Consul W as 

chaperon.^ 

Foochow deserves a great deal of study and 
description. It is one of the largest cities in 
China, and is much more important from a 
native point of view than Shanghai, which the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 195 

Chinese look on only as a foreign settlement. 
Foochow is a city of one million inhabitants, na- 
tive, and very few foreigners ; in fact, only those 
connected v^ith the consular service, the customs 
(Chinese), the missions, and the tea trade. Foo- 
chow is approached only by the thirty miles of 
river which we have just traversed, and every 
turn is well protected by modern Chinese forts 
armed with Krupp guns. For years Foochow 
has been the centre of the tea trade, but Formosa 
is now superseding it, and last year the tea ship- 
ment from Foochow dropped to four million 
pounds, which is, however, a tidy lot of tea. 

We landed, not on the mainland, but on an 
island where all of the foreigners and many 
Chinese live. The water-front is edged with a 
stone pier and a row of thick shade trees, and the 
houses are on a hilly part of the island behind, 
to reach which you must traverse native streets 
for about twenty minutes. The few homes of 
foreigners here are beautiful and luxurious, and 
are hidden in masses of shrubbery; but as our 
consulate is a fair sample, I will describe it only. 
The hill-top is not thickly settled, but is like a 
luxuriant park traversed by hard white paths. 
One of these paths leads through a grove of trees 
to the consulate wall. The building is large and 



196 LETTERS OF 

square, and entirely surrounded by a deep tiled 
porch on the ground floor and a corresponding 
balcony above. The garden is beautiful, and 
stretches downhill at the back to the river's 
edge. 

The consul, Dr. G , is a delightful old 

gentleman, with white mutton-chop whiskers, 
white flannels, shoes, hat, and twinkling black 
eyes. He welcomed us cordially, and immedi- 
ately gave orders for three extra places at tifiin. 
We stayed gladly, and talked all morning with 
Dr. G and Mr. B , his young vice-con- 
sul, about Foochow. It seems that Dr. G 's 

work is of a diplomatic rather than a consular 
description. He has two hundred missionaries 
in his province, for whose safety he is responsi- 
ble, and he has much ofiicial work to do, as Foo- 
chow is the capital of Fuhkien Province. Shang- 
hai has only one ofl&cial, a Taotai, while Foochow 
has four Taotais, a Taotai-General, and a Vice- 
roy, who rules over fifty-nine millions of people ! 
The Japanese are settling thickly in this district, 
and are turning many Chinamen into Japanese 
subjects by sending them across to Formosa for 
a few months, giving them papers, and then al- 
lowing them to return. Many Chinese merchants 
take out Japanese papers, as they can then ex- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 197 

ercise the privileges accorded to foreigners and 
withheld from the natives. The Japanese con- 
sul openly stated at a meeting of Chinese that 
in five years Fuhkien province would be Jap- 
anese, so it is easy to see which way the wind 
blows. 

Mrs. G , a charming, motherly Massa- 
chusetts woman, appeared at tiffin and we had 
a jolly time. After tiffin we sat out on the terrace 
behind, and she pointed out some of her garden 
treasures, among them the hibiscus trees, whose 
blossoms are snow-white in the morning, rose- 
color at noon, and crimson at night. From the 
terrace we could look across the river, swarming 
with junks and sampans, to the native city, 
which stretches away for miles to the mountains 
that shut us in all around. The hills and moun- 
tains here are very beautiful, the vegetation is 
luxuriant, and the stunted banana-palms in 
every mass of foliage give a very tropical touch. 
Altogether, Foochow is the most attractive place 
we have seen in China, and I am glad we must 
stay longer than we had planned. 

After tiffin President P of Foochow Col- 
lege, over in the native city, appeared and greeted 
us warmly; for he is Yale '85 ! He took us back 
with him in chairs, but as we are going to spend 



198 LETTERS OF 

Monday in the city and at the College, I will 
reserve descriptions until then. At 8 P. M. we 
returned to the Consulate for dinner, which we 
attended in soiled suits and soft shirts, with Mrs. 

G 's permission, as our proud clothes are 

not with us. 

Dr. G was a preacher at Salem, but his 

health broke down seventeen years ago, and he 
secured this appointment, which he has held 
ever since, barring two years at home. He is hale 
and hearty now, appearing to be about sixty, 
although rumor hath it that he has turned 
seventy-six. He has a beautiful home and twenty 
servants, a work which he loves and which gives 
him plenty of chance to indulge his religious 
tendencies, as he looks after one of the richest 
missionary fields in the East. Altogether it is a 
good exchange for life in a Massachusetts sani- 
tarium. 

The G s told us of many delightful trips 

in the neighborhood, and as the season is just 
right to take them, it is very tempting. House- 
boating up the river and tramping among the 
beautiful hills with the chance of a tiger — every 
place we go we have to leave dozens of pleasant 
and instructive trips undone. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 199 

Sunday, October 20. 

One of the famous places near Foochow is the 
old Kushan Monastery, and this morning at eight 
we tightened our belts and started out to pay it 
a visit. We took a coolie with us to carry tiffin, 
and crossed the river in a sampan which the 
whole family helped to propel. Once across, we 
scrambled up a muddy bank and made straight 
for the hills across the rice-fields, on a little 
raised path of flag-stones, which kept our feet, 
out of the muddy water of the fields, but which 
was like walking a fat tight-rope. The monas- 
tery is two thirds of the way up the highest 
mountain on the direct border of the valley, and 
so we had a stiff morning's climb. As the mon- 
astery is an old and rich one, there is a stone 
stairway all the way, and I should estimate the 
number of steps as very near five thousand, for 
the stairway zigzags and the steps are only about 
four inches high. We were the only pilgrims on 
the way up, but we passed long lines of coolies 
balancing loads of mud-bricks at each end of 
the customary carrying-pole, for the monks are 
building an addition. These coolies were of 
both sexes, and ranged in size from the tiny, sil- 
ver-ankleted tot of seven years, who struggled 



200 LETTERS OF 

along with two bricks, to the well-muscled man 
who carried twenty with ease. 

The monastery is a picturesque group of build- 
ings in a sheltered hollow just beneath the moun- 
tain's summit, and there are courts and carp- 
pools and fountains and galleries and bells and 
huge gilded idols enough to satisfy the most 
romantic. There is also a secondary group of 
temples, sort of a retreat, clinging to the edge 
of a deep chasm near by. About two hundred 
monks live here, and they seem to have many 
servants and to live in great comfort. 

We ate our tiffin in a gallery overhanging a 
large pool, which wrinkled continually with the 
splashing tails and gaping mouths of the great 
carp which live therein. We must have spent 
nearly five hours at the monastery, wandering 
about and poking into odd corners. The monks 
were very friendly, and whenever we blundered 
into some brother's cell, we were never permit- 
ted to withdraw without a cup of tea. 

We poked about the great vaulted kitchen 
with its blackened rafters and rows of huge iron 
cauldrons filled with rice. We wandered into 
the spacious dining-hall, open to the winds with 
its bare walls and tables, just in time to hear the 
solo chant and droning chorus response of the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 201 

Buddhist grace. We cracked melon seeds and 
lichee nuts with the old bell-ringer, who let us 
try our hand at swinging the wooden fish whose 
nose beats the deep tones out of the great bell. 
We sat on the bench with the young priest who 
was paying off the cooHes as they arrived with 
bricks, and at every stop we drank a cup of tea. 
Finally we dozed over the Oxford Book of Verse 
in a cool cloister overlooking a sun-flooded court- 
yard, and it was only the sun sliding towards the 
west that sent us back to Foochow. 

The young priests made friends with us very 
quickly and felt our clothes and tried on our hats 
with childlike excitement, and the old bonzes 
with fans, and one long tooth left in their heads, 
mumbled and nodded as they passed, and stopped 
on the outskirts to raise one hand in some sa- 
lute that was very like a Catholic blessing. Bud- 
dhism, by the way, is the very counterpart of 
Catholicism in its forms and rituals — it has a 
prior claim upon them, too. 

Two boy priests stayed with us all the time 
we were on the mountain, and we got a picture 
of them which ought to be a corker. 

Just before we went, Am. got started doing 
sleight-o'-hand tricks, and we soon had a large 
audience, who greeted each trick with hand- 



202 LETTERS OF 

clapping and shouts of laughter. One old fellow 
in a broad straw hat, with a rosary of beads the 
size of hickory nuts, waddled up to Am. after 
each trick and shook his finger in his face with 
a toothless grin, as though to say, " Oh, my eye 1 
but you 're a sly dog ! " Another aged priest was 
somewhat of a conjurer himself, and capped 
every performance of Am.'s with one of his own. 
It has been a delightful day and has given us still 
another regret, for nothing could be pleasanter, 
cheaper, more feasible, or more instructive than 
a week's stay at Kushan with the shaven priests; 
"but our boat sails Tuesday," as Frank Daniels 
used to say in the "Ameer." 

Monday, October 21. 

The news of our arrival has spread abroad 
in town, so when we descended after break- 
fast this morning, we found the little courtyard 
in front of Mr. Brockett's General Store filled 
with the wares of native brass-workers, silver- 
smiths, embroiderers, and lacquer-makers. Each 
owner squatted by his little pile and made his 
bids. 

At ten o'clock we went to the bank by ap- 
pointment with President P , and there met 

him and Consul W of Hong Kong, and the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 203 

four of us started out for a day's spree, — Yale 
'07, Yale '84, and Yale '85! 

We took sedan-chairs, which are the most 
comfortable conveyance we have yet met with, 
and bobbed merrily across the Bridge of a Thou- 
sand Ages to the mainland. It might be better 
called the Bridge of a Thousand One-horse 
Merchants, for the narrow bridge is jammed 
with peddlers of all descriptions, squatted be- 
hind their piles of old junk. 







Foochow woman Foochow man 

You see the type of woman's headdress and 
man's hat-line approaches what we expect to 
find in Indo and Cochin China. The features 
of both sexes are more refined and intelligent 
than in the North, and the men are lithe and 
small-boned, with dainty hands and feet; in fact, 
many of them are effeminate in appearance, 
though not so in character. The Chinese women 
are some of them very good-looking indeed. 



204 LETTERS OF 

Although the city walls are four miles from 
the river-bank, the suburbs have filled up the 
intervening space, and there is no difference in 
the character of the city inside and out. On 
reaching the other end of the bridge, our bearers 
pushed down a flight of stone steps, and plunged 
headlong into a chaos beside which the Tower 
of Babel or even a church sewing-circle would 
seem the embodiment of law and order. The 
main street, down which our bearers slipped and 
slid over stone paving-blocks wet with whatever 
the million Foochowites chose to throw upon 
them, is an alley nearly seven feet wide. Tall 
wooden buildings rise on both sides, and their 
overhanging roofs and swinging signs make a 
dim twilight at noon, so that every shop that 
can afford it burns oil or wax even in the day- 
time. The street is bordered by open-fronted 
shops, where idols, silverware, gobbets of red 
meat, furs, brass, varnished ducks and split fish, 
china, silks, and rawhides flash impression after 
impression on your bewildered brain. In every 
shop you see not only the finished goods, but the 
makers at work and the maker's family at play. 
Rope-weavers, cloth-spinners, blacksmiths, tan- 
ners, and jewelers, working hard, and among 
the workers are crowds of children rolling about 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 205 

and screaming, and the servants boiling steamy 
messes in great pots. All the men are stripped 
to the waist, and all the women have great silver 
hoops in their ears that reach the shoulder. 

The narrow street is crowded with porters 
and busybodies and sedan-chairs, which pass 
with great difficulty. We swung along over boil- 
ing kettles and tables of merchandise set in the 
street, with our bearers keeping up a continu- 
ous shouting that was drowned in the roar of 
street-life. I can imagine how this would have 
set my nerves on edge a month ago, at the date 
of my first letters from China; but now I re- 
cline in my easy sedan, and gaze with calmness 
and pleasure at the wild faces and naked bodies 
that surge about within inches, and nearer 
space, of my own. I can now listen to the wild 
cries and shouts undisturbed, since I have 
found that these swarming people are a gentle, 
peaceful race, full of prejudices which a kind 
word will remove, and of affection which is 
easily awakened, and with a power of industry 
and love for work unequalled by any race on the 
globe. 

After some three miles of seething humanity, 
we darted up a narrow side street, in which I 
could touch both walls by stretching out, not 



2o6 LETTERS OF 

my arms, but my elbows ! Luckily we met no- 
thing coming down, and safely reached Dr. 

V 's. I am not sure of this good man's name, 

but I am sure of the welcome that he and his 
good wife gave us. These people have lived here 
for thirty years, curing the poor natives where 
cures are possible. He is a skilled surgeon and 
she a trained nurse, and with a few self-trained 
Chinese assistants these people work from morn- 
ing till night, opening every day with an average 
of forty applicants at their door. 

The doctor led us to a little hill behind the 
house, where a weed-grown common exists. 
Scattered over this common are dozens, possi- 
bly hundreds of coffins, some in the open, some 
under a straw roof, each with an occupant inside 
waiting for the family to earn money enough 
to buy a grave. We crossed the hill with our 
twelve chair-coolies following (for they are too 
superstitious to visit the place alone), and on 
the other side we saw a small stone tower, per- 
haps six feet high, with two or three big birds 
perched on the roof and a hungry dog sneaking 
around the foot. Not a very formidable sight, 
you may think, but one that I'll warrant you 
would n't stop long to look at, mother, for this 
is the Foochow baby-tower ! It is a new one, for 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 207 

the old tower was filled to overflowing, and no 
one wished to clean it out. It is built over a deep 
well, and the only opening is a small hole in the 
side, just under the roof. Into this hole the poor 
people of Foochow drop the girl-babies which 
they do not want ! Lately a law has been passed 
forbidding people to throw live babies into the 
tower, but like most Chinese laws, it is only to 
look at and is broken every day. Around the 
foot of the tower are some mat-wrappers, in 
which the babies are wrapped; it was these that 
the dog was worrying. Against the tower is a 
line of pitiful wooden dolls with set, painted 
smiles; these dolls are to amuse the girl-babies 
in the spirit world, so that they will not come 
out of the well and haunt their parents. Al- 
though this tower is a new one and has a deep 
well, it is filled full of babies within three feet of 
the top. I know, because I looked through the 
hole myself, although the smell was so strong 
that I soon withdrew my head. I think this plain- 
looking stone tower made us all a bit sick. 

Before getting into our chairs again, we in- 
spected the doctor's hospital. It is a rickety 
Chinese building, open to the street. First is a 
waiting-room, a chamber of horrors in all truth. 
On each side is a narrow ward with cots, and 



2o8 LETTERS OF 

behind, an operating-room : a bare place with 
one wall open to the weather, and three common 
tables. On one of these tables was a leper with 
his foot and leg swollen and partly eaten away; 
on another, a man about to have his eye removed ; 
and on the last, a bloody sight which I will not 
describe. The whole place is open to the passing 
crowd, and every operation is viewed by as many 
of the street rabble as can jam their way in. The 
doctor has money for a decent hospital, but is 
having trouble in buying land, so must worry 
along for the present. 

Half an hour more in our chairs brought us 
to the college, where we had tiffin. This mission 
college appealed to us as the finest institution 
we have visited in the East. How I wish I could 
leave a big check at every one of the worthy 
places we visit, or could welcome the offer we have 
had several times to accept a five-year contract 
and help them in their work. It would be no 
hardship at all, but a great pleasure and an in- 
teresting experience. Dr. P has very large 

grounds and beautiful brick and stone build- 
ings, right in the heart of the native city. There 
are three houses, large and comfortable, for the 
teachers and their families, and I think four col- 
lege buildings. The site is hilly, and the different 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 209 

sections are hidden behind walls and masses 
of flowers, palms, banyans, and acacias. Dr. 

P and his sister Miss H were born here, 

although educated at home, and their mother, 

Mrs. H , has lived right here for fifty years. 

Mrs. P is from Middletown, Connecticut, 

and is delightful, the best New England type. 
The kiddies are mighty attractive, too, and I 
wish we could accept their invitation to stay 

with them a long time. Dr. P would go 

house-boating with us if we could stay. 

After tiffin we visited several classes at the 
college. Here they give an eight-year course to 
two hundred Chinese students. They teach 
English, Chinese classics, mathematics through 
trigonometry, psychology, and the sciences. The 
higher mathematics and sciences are taught 
in Chinese, and only about half the school 
study English. We visited the chemistry class 
and two English reading classes, then looked in 
on the mental arithmetic class, conducted in 
English. We also met two interesting Chi- 
nese teachers, whose English is as good as our 
own. 

Dr. P had made arrangements over Sun- 
day, so that the Taotai,who is the Fuhkien Min- 
ister of Foreign Affairs, would call this after- 



210 LETTERS OF 

noon. He was to arrive at four, but we had 
to leave before he came, in order to catch the 
launch out to our steamer, which leaves early 
in the morning. You may imagine how sorry 
we were to miss the official, but we were each 
presented with his calling-card, which he had 
sent ahead. 

To-night we are aboard a comfortable toy 
boat of six hundred tons, the Amoy Maru, and 
earlv to-morrow we shall sail for the wild island 
of Formosa, called by the heathen, Taiwan. 
There I shall mail this long-drawn scrawl. As 
I said before, there must be long desert stretches 
in my letters, but I feel that I owe you the best 
return I can make for this great pleasure and 
opportunity that you home ones are giving me, 
and I am so afraid of missing the one thing that 
will interest you, that I find myself telling every- 
thing without discrimination. When you are 
right in the heat of new impressions, it is hard 
to separate the important from the unimpor- 
tant, and if you delay until time does the sepa- 
rating, you lose the distinct outlines of the 
impression. 

Good-night. 

Your loving son, 

Gilbert. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 211 

HoKUTO, Formosa, Shotoyen Hotel, 
Friday, October 25, 1907. 

Dear Father, — The little Amoy Maru 
brought us safely across the Formosa Straits, and 
landed us at Tamsui, on the north end of the 
island, at about midnight last Tuesday. Tam- 
sui is a small Chinese town with about three hun- 
dred resident Japanese, and is much like towns 
on the mainland. We spent the night there, and 
on Wednesday morning we left by train for this 
village, which is a health resort for the Japanese. 

The train runs up country along the shores 
of the clear-running Tamsui River, and passes 
between two precipitous green mountains, about 
four thousand feet high, which guard the river- 
mouth. Hokuto is only seven or eight miles 
from Tamsui, and half an hour's puffing and 
snorting of the little engine landed us here. We 
sent Lin to the hotel with our luggage, — minus 
Am.'s gun and my revolver, which the police 
have seized for the time being, — and we con- 
tinued eight miles further to Taipeh or Taihoku, 
the capital. Here we have the great concourse 
of foreigners, about thirty all told, i' faith ! 

We got our little dot from the merchant who 
acts as agent for the Hong Kong and Shanghai 
Bank, and then called on Mr. A , the Amer- 



212 LETTERS OF 

ican Consul. He invited us to stay to tiffin and 

introduced us to Mrs. A , a California girl. 

They are a fine young couple, and we had a jolly 
meal. 

Mr. and Mrs. A are planning a wonder- 
ful forty-day walking trip through the wild part 
of the island, and he wanted to get some sup- 
plies which were in their bungalow in the hills, 
so we joined him for the afternoon. We took 
the train back as far as Hokuto and then walked 
up to the bungalow, which is about one thousand 
feet above our hotel. It is a little box of a place, 
made of bamboo, camphor-wood, and straw, and 
is perched at the top of a ridge which commands 
a broad view of ocean, river, valleys, tableland, 
and the high mountains of the head-hunters to 
the east. We brewed a cup of tea and took an 
extempore shower-bath, then returned to our 
hotel. 

This inn, the Shotoyen, is Japanese, but they 
have two rooms with beds, which we occupy. 
Our rooms face the semicircle of mountains 
behind the town, and immediately before us is 
the downward slope of a fascinating garden full 
of shady trees. Our very porch-rail is swept with 
branches that are heavy with golden pumeloes, 
a fruit Hke our grape-fruit, and palms, acacias, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 213 

morning-glories, and brilliant red flowers fill up 
the vista. Halfway down the hill is a little bath- 
house with a tank full of ever-changing sulphur 
water, hot as blazes, and a soft-matted lounging- 
room. We live in kimonos, and, whenever we 
feel warm, all we have to do is peel and drop 
into the water. The house has no sides to hide 
us, but, pshaw ! who cares in this happy land ? 
At the foot of the garden runs the clear hot 
stream itself, its banks heavy with sword-grass 
and rank, glossy, green leaves gleaming with 
flowers. There is a pool with steps leading to it, 
and a hot waterfall about ten feet high, and if 
we prefer, we bathe there with the peasant boys. 
The people in the country are all Chinese, and 
are kind and hospitable. By the way, we are the 
only guests at Hokuto just now, not even any 
Japanese guests here. In the cities are a few 
Japanese, now the ruling class, and in the moun- 
tains are the famous Formosan savages, who 
have held the island for over two thousand years, 
and who are now causing the Japanese such 
great trouble in the northern mountains about 
twenty miles from here. On account of the hard 
fighting and treacherous nature of the jungle 
warfare, the government will not allow us to visit 
the near-by posts. Imagine our joy, then, when 



214 LETTERS OF 

Mr. A , with whom we tiffined again this 

noon at Taipeh, invited us to go part way on his 
trip with himself and wife ! A young Harvard 
'04 chap, who is here in the tea business, is going 
with them for ten days, and we can return with 
him. 

We called on the Minister of Police (a Japa- 
nese Harvard graduate) this afternoon at Tai- 
peh, and got the necessary permission, and day 
after to-morrow, Sunday, we start at six in the 
morning. 

We shall take the train for about one hundred 
miles straight south, and then strike off towards 
Mt. Morrison, which we shall climb. This 
mountain is 13,800 feet high, almost 2000 feet 
higher than Fuji, and the highest mountain in the 
Japanese Empire. Only about five Europeans, 
maybe not so many, have ever done it, although 
it is an easy trip. We go right through jungle 
country, but the savages there are friendly, in 
fact we get about thirty of them for coolies. We 

shall take with us Consul A 's cook, our boy 

Lin, and a Japanese interpreter, besides our 
savage horde of servants. We shall have also a 
guard of Japanese soldier-police. At night we 
shall live in grass huts, which our coolies will 
build as we halt. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 215 

This is the opportunity of a lifetime, dear 
people; a private individual could never do it 
now, and it has taken the consul a year to ar- 
range it. We shall do in comfort and safety what 
almost no one has ever done; more people have 
followed Stanley's track in Darkest Africa than 
have done this trip, — and in ten days you will 
get a letter or flock of letters describing the 
whole thing. 

The boats for Hong Kong leave here, or rather 
Tamsui, on Sundays, and we shall have about 
three days, to lounge here and put the finishing 
touches on our home letters, before our boat sails, 
two weeks from next Sabbath-day. Of course we 
are now living on Japanese food entirely, and 
manage to eat double rations, with gusto. We 
have made many friends among the Chinese 
peasants and Japanese villagers. We are the 
only white people between Tamsui and Taipeh, 
thank goodness, and are enjoying every minute. 
One strange feature of the Formosa landscape 
is the great water-buffalo, whose picture I en- 
close. He does n't like foreigners, but native 
boys two feet high do what they please with him. 
Loads and loads of love, 

Gilbert. 



2i6 LETTERS OF 

S. S. JosHiN Maru, 
Formosa Straits, November ii, 1907. 

Dear Ones, — The great trip is over, safely 
over, and it far exceeded our most enthusiastic 
expectations. We reached the railroad day be- 
fore yesterday at Kagi, in the southern part of 
the island, and travelled all day to Taihoku, the 
northern capital, where we were busy to dis- 
traction paying our bills, buying tickets to Hong 
Kong, and calling on Japanese officials to thank 
them for their assistance. We spent the night at 
Hokuto, where we collected our luggage and 
clean linen, and yesterday morning we came to 
Tamsui and established ourselves on this boat. 
Finding we had some time before sailing, we 
went up the hill to the British Consulate, and 
sat for an hour or so with Mr. and Mrs. C — — , 
charming English people, on their cool, deep 
verandah. 

We are leaving Formosa with many regrets, 
for it is a deHghtful spot, full of romance and 
interest. For instance, it is the best place in the 
world for a study of the comparative value of 
the two races, Chinese and Japanese, which you 
see here side by side. The foreign community 
is very small, about forty men and six women, 
and is centred in Taihoku, except for the Brit- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 217 

ish Consul, who prefers his fine home at Tamsui, 
and two or three others in Hke circumstances. 
They are very hospitable and open-hearted, and 
made us feel very welcome among them. 

Dr. M , the German Consul, is a fine 

young man, very popular here. His latest fad is 
taking care of four South Sea Islanders who were 
washed ashore not long ago. They had been at 
sea in an open boat for five months, living on 
raw fish and rain-water; and although there were 
six at first, two died shortly after they reached 
Formosa. They are dark, unclothed savages 
with tattooed legs, and of course no one could 

speak a word of their language. Dr. M took 

them in and has cared for them for six weeks, 
with the result that the four survivors are almost 
well. He is learning their language from them, 
and has discovered which island they come 
from. They make fine docile pets for him, and 
sit on his verandah, munching bananas from 
morning till night. 

The foreigners and officials at Taihoku were, 
I think, a little disappointed that we came 
through so well, for they prophesied awful 
things; but sail through we did, with tired mus- 
cles but happy hearts. It was a trip, as many 
Formosans told me, worth travelling way out 



2i8 LETTERS OF 

here only to take. The best part of it all was 
the savage life with which we became so well 
acquainted. 

You '11 have to take my word for the great 
pleasure of the trip, for the account I am sending 
you soon is pitifully inadequate and reads like a 
dry catalogue or time-table. I despair of making 
you feel the charm of it, but read between the 
lines all you can. 

Love and lots of it, 

Gilbert. 

Hong Kong, Victoria, 
Sunday, November 17, 1907. 

Dear Father, — God Save the King ! 

Brief history from the end of my last letter. 
One day at Amoy spent at the U. S. Consulate; 
one day at Swatow spent on board ship — pic- 
turesque places, both of these Chinese cities. A 
few tea warehouses and half a million Celestials 
plunked down beside a river among rock-strewn 
hills, boulders the size of court-houses sticking 
up in the middle of the town, a different language 
and type of junk and sampan in each harbor, 
and no sign of western encroachment, beyond a 
few white, deep-verandahed houses. 

I hoped to finish my account of Formosa be- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 219 

fore reaching Hong Kong, but I have finished it 
here, and mail it to you now. Read the letters in 
the order I have marked, and use your imagi- 
nation to clothe the stilted recital with Hfe, color, 
flesh, and blood. 

On the day before landing here, poor Am. and 
Lin, the Chinese boy, were taken ill with chills 
and fever. I got them to the hotel and had a 
doctor for them. It seems that exposure to the 
cold and wet on our late exploring tour gave 
them both a touch of malaria. Their fevers kept 
rising, so on Friday we took them both to hos- 
pitals. Lin is at the government hospital in a fine 
airy ward, and Am. is in a private place on the 
Peak, eighteen hundred feet above us. They 
were both very weak and miserable, with tem- 
peratures approaching 104, but have rallied 
quickly and were both normal all day yester- 
day, and will be up and out by Tuesday. I 
have spent all my time at the bed of one or 
the other, and have seen nothing of the surround- 
ings here, except as I go to and from the hos- 
pital. 

There is a beautiful view from the Peak over 
the harbor and the ocean on the other side of the 
island. Last night I took a sedan-chair down 
from the top, instead of using the railway, and 



220 LETTERS OF 

had a beautiful hour down a smooth road be- 
tween heavy drooping banks of palms, ferns, 
and flowers, with a sunset, a great white ghost 
of a moon, and changing views across the town 
and harbor, where gunboats were saluting each 
other with white cottony puffs of smoke, and 
sending across the water clear bugle-calls that 
floated way up to my chair almost two thousand 
feet above them. The climate here is ideal now, 
and on the Peak very cool and windy. Even in 
the town I sleep under a blanket and spread. 

We had engaged passage on a Dutch boat 
leaving to-morrow for Java direct ; it was a sav- 
ing of time and money, and we were congratu- 
lating ourselves, as the boats are three-weekly 
only, but Am.'s sickness has forced us to give up 
our tickets. 

For the last month our great quandary has 
been the Philippine question. Am. 's family feel 
as you do, and we have turned the subject inside 
out. I should certainly enjoy seeing them, and 
should like nothing better than a month of 
careful investigation. Late as we are, however, 
the most we could afford would be a week. Now, 
just what that week would be I know as well as 
if I had been there already. We should land at 
Manila, a familiar type of modern town, and 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 221 

should find the time too short to visit the interior 
and learn anything personally of the native char- 
acter or practical w^orking-out of the present 
theories of government. We should present let- 
ters and ask questions; we should dine with some 
very nice people, who would give us their opin- 
ions as final, definite facts, and the next nice 
people we dined with would tell us the exact 
opposite. We should then form our own opin- 
ions, which, by virtue of our week's stay in Ma- 
nila (a city about as Philippinaic as Saginaw), 
would remain unshakable the rest of our lives. 
We have seen Philippine foreign residents here; 
in fact, one dined at my table last night, and we 
talked about the islands all through the meal. 
It means a round trip on the ocean of six days, 
for we must return here. On the whole, it hon- 
estly seems to us a very pleasant waste of time 
and money. 

Nevertheless, we have decided that if Am.'s 
health permits, and if we can make connections 
with a very irregular steamer that runs from 
Cebu to Borneo, and then make connections 
with a little monthly boat to Java, we are going 
to take in Manila. It is doubtful, however, if 
we can get through that way; I shall know in a 
day or so, and of course will write you fully. If 



222 LETTERS OF 

we did that, you would not hear from us for 
about a month. 

A trip Uke this is not all a bed of roses, if 
you are at all interested in making it worth while 
and not merely conventional. You must plan 
and think and worry over "what is best" all day 
long. Here in my room I am surrounded by 
books of information (not travellers' impres- 
sions, — I have done with those), heavy steam- 
boat and railway guides to all sorts of places. We 
have to work far ahead, and I am now living 
among the Dutch East Indies, Malaysia, and 
Burmah . You see we want to adopt the best route, 
and therefore have to cover half the world's sur- 
face in detail. If I were getting pay for this trip, 
I should consider it hard work, but it is meat and 
drink for me. When I get back, there won't be a 
corner of the world that I can't direct you to, with 
steamboat times and fares and a brief account 
of what you'll find there. 

The few pictures I enclose are very poor, for 

my films were old and got wet; but Mr. A , 

the Consul, took a great number, which he is 
having developed in Japan and will send to us 
at Bombay, so that in two months' time I can 
send you some magnificent views of the country, 
the people, and the mountain-top. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 223 

According to our latest plans, we shall return 
from Java to Singapore (necessary), and then 
go straight to Colombo, visiting Burmah later 
from Calcutta. This plan saves travel. It leaves 
the Indian travel exactly as it v^ould be if we 
took in Burmah on the way to Colombo, and 
the combined trips from Singapore to Colombo 
and from Calcutta to Rangoon and return are 
cheaper than the combined trips from Singapore 
to Rangoon and from Rangoon to Colombo. 

I suppose before I leave Hong Kong I had 
better write you a Christmas letter. This ought 
to reach you about the 20th of December. 
A great deal of love to everybody. 

Your son, Gilbert. 



224 LETTERS OF 



SAVAGE LIFE IN FORMOSA' 

" Well, well," said Am. " I did n't know that ! " 

We were spending the morning very com- 
fortably in Mr. J 's library at Pekin, and 

as my book was absorbing, it was more courtesy 
than interest which prompted me to grunt, — 

"What's the matter now?" 

"Why, here's a mountain in Formosa that 
has Fuji lashed to the mast. Mount Morrison, 
almost fourteen thousand feet high, — the tip- 
top point of the Japanese Empire." 

"Is that all!" 

That was all the book said; but later on 
Am. brought up the subject again. "Formosa, 
— let me see, an island off the coast of China, 
is n't it?" 

"Yes," I added, "full of wild-eyed head- 
hunters and snakes. I read all about it in a Jap- 
anese steamboat circular." 

Anything "wild-eyed" appeals to Am., and I 
could see the idea beginning to grow. 

"I don't suppose there 'd be many tourists 
there," he murmured diplomatically. 

' The story of the Formosa trip, written by G. L. S. on the 
steamer and mailed at Hong Kong, November 19th. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 225 

The one great effort of our callow young lives 
is to avcid the guide-book-bearing stream, with 
green glasses and solar-topees, and to lift our- 
selves from the substratum of "globe-trotter" 
to the exalted heights of "traveller." It is a dis- 
tinction with a difference, and we stand firm 
upon the conceit, so that Am.'s final shot told 
well. 

"When shall we start?" said I. 

"When does the next boat sail ?" said he. 

"To-morrow," said I. 

"We're off," said he; and so we were. 

There are three ways of reaching Formosa. 
You can go up from Hong Kong, via Amoy, in 
three days; you can go down from Shanghai, «i;/« 
Foochow, in the same length of time, if you are 
lucky in making connections; or you can drop 
down from Nagasaki in four or five days, across 
a very, very bumpy stretch of ocean. 

We teetered down the China coast in a suc- 
cession of cozy little coasting-steamers, entirely 
innocent of other passengers; and finally one 
moonlit night we saw the twin peaks that guard 
the mouth of the Tamsui River loom black 
against the stars. There is always a fascination 
in reaching a new land, and when the new land 
is one that has not been smeared with printer's 



226 . LETTERS OF 

ink and first impressions, then Romance broods 
over its most common commonplaces, and the 
spirit of adventure gathers round every step 
you take. The crowning touch is to reach such 
a land by moonlight, in the midst of strange 
sounds and strange fragrances that steal out of 
the darkness and float away and lose themselves 
under the shadows of great trees. 

That is the sugar-coating, here is the bitter 
pill. It is hard to think of facts and moonshine 
in the same breath, but facts have their use as 
well as moonshine, so here goes for facts. 

Formosa is an island two hundred and sixty 
miles long and about seventy miles broad at the 
widest part. It lies off Fuhkien Province, China, 
and had been owned by the Japanese since 1895. 
This may seem to be an unnecessary bit of in- 
formation, but be it known that during the past 
year a large packing-box arrived at our con- 
sulate, sent by our own State Department at 
Washington, addressed to Formosa, China! 
The island is very rich, producing a fine quality 
of tea, delicious bananas and pineapples, rice, 
camphor, sulphur, and gold. Most of the mineral 
wealth and valuable timber is in the savage 
country, however, and has not yet been ex- 
ploited. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 227 

The east coast is high and rocky, without 
harbors; in some places the steep hills rise over 
seven thousand feet. These hills are usually re- 
ferred to as perpendicular cliffs, but I v^as assured 
at Taipeh, the capital, that the cliffs existed only 
in an old Dutch print, which Mr. Davidson has 
included in his book on Formosa. The moun- 
tains run the length of the island in three parallel 
ranges, growing lower to the west until they merge 
into a fertile plain on which the Dutch, Spanish, 
Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese have in turn 
fought for supremacy since the sixteenth cen- 
tury. The mountainous eastern half, however, 
has been in undisturbed possession of the abo- 
riginal savages since they were first washed 
ashore there, storm-tossed from the Philippine 
Archipelago. They are supposed to be of Malay 
origin, of the same stock as the Japanese; but 
more of them later. 

In the north are the two ports, Tamsui and 
Keelung, and between them is Taipeh, or Tai- 
hoku, the northern capital. In the south are the 
ports An-ping and Takao, and the southern cap- 
ital, Tainan. The two groups are connected by 
a railway that runs the length of the island. 
Travelling is perfectly safe anywhere on the 
western plains, and the Japanese inns are fully 



228 LETTERS OF 

as comfortable as those in Japan. There is no 
foreign hotel or boarding-house on the island, 
but the Shotoyen Inn, at Hokuto Hot Spring 
in the north, has two rooms with beds in them. 
At this inn they will also furnish foreign food to 
the traveller who wishes to pamper himself, but 
the Japanese cooking is much better than their 
foreign attempts, and one may live luxuriously 
at any place on the island on fish, shell-fish, 
mushrooms, and fruit. The autumn weather is 
perfect, the Japanese courteous, the Chinese 
peasants friendly and hospitable, the country 
beautiful, and the hotel charges ridiculously 
small. We dropped off at Hokuto on the way 
from Tamsui to Taipeh, and finding these ideal 
conditions, we turned lotus-eaters for several days, 
strolling about in kimonos and dropping into 
the hot stream whenever and wherever we chose, 
in company with farmers and peasant lads. We 
were the only white people in the village, and 
we hated to break the spell. 

Finally we mustered ambition to visit the 
capital, Taihoku, and there we found our consul, 
Mr. A , and his wife, in the midst of prepa- 
rations for a long trip around the island; a 
walking trip of forty days, the first twelve of 
which were to be consumed in climbing Mt. Mor- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 229 

rison, our old Pekin friend, Morrison. During 
tiffin we listened to their plans with green envy 
eating at our hearts. It seems that it had taken 
Mr. A a long time to arrange the trip, be- 
cause Mt. Morrison is well within the savage 
country and a great deal of government assist- 
ance was necessary, especially now that the 
northern tribes are fighting so desperately; for 
while the tribes around Mt. Morrison have 
stayed quietly in their own territory for five or 
six years, there is no telling what the example 
of their northern kinsmen may inspire them 
to do. 

After tiffin, when Mr. A kindly asked us 

to join them on their expedition, it took us just 
one fifteenth of a second by an accurate stop- 
watch to accept thankfully without conditions or 
reservations. 

Two days later we started by the six a. m. 
train for the south. There were five of us : Mr. 

and Mrs. A , I H , Harvard '04, 

who is out here learning the tea business, and 
Am. and I, who have been parted from the 
apron-strings of our New Haven Alma Mater 
by a short five months. In tow we had one 
Chinese cook, the real true hero of the party, by 
the way; our Chinese boy Lin, whom Am. and 



230 LETTERS OF 

I had dragged down from Tientsin much against 
his will ; and two fox terriers, Peanuts and Dusi- 

bus, ferocious eaters, whom A refused to 

trust to the tender mercies of his Chinese coolie. 
There was to have been another, one Imamura 
San, a Japanese interpreter, kindly loaned us by 
the government; but the hour was early and 
"Stephen" did not put in an appearance, so we 
left without him. I don't remember who gave 
him the name, but it seemed apt, and "Stephen " 
he remained to the last chapter. 

From six in the morning until four in the af- 
ternoon we watched the level fields at our right 
and the blue mountains at our left grow slowly 
more and more tropical, and when we left the 
train at Toroku, we found ourselves in a land of 
palm trees and betel-nuts. Our approach had 
been heralded by notices from the government 
at Taihoku, so we were met by the local prefect, 
who established us in a comfortable inn. Owing 
to the absence of the unhappy Stephen, who 
put in an appearance about bed-time, our inter- 
course with this official was limited to numerous 
bowings and drawings-in of breath, until he dis- 
covered that Mr. A could talk Pekinese, 

which he also knew. Later, the pigeon-toed Me' 
San spread our silk futans on the mat-floor, and 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 231 

we fell asleep, watching three lizards bustling 
about the ceiling after flies. 

The next morning, Monday, we loaded our 
cases of tinned meats and bundles of blankets 
on to the train again, and travelled back north 
to Rinai, the next station. There we transferred 
ourselves and eff^ects to little flat cars, and 
were pushed across rice-fields for two hours by 
perspiring coolies. We left the push-cars at the 
village of Rinkiho, and after cooking our tiffin 
in the yard of the police station, we girded up 
our loins and prepared to start. But not so 
Stephen. It seems that he had counted on lin- 
gering overnight in the cozy police station, but 
a few vigorous prods to his ambition from Mr. 

A soon started wheels moving, and by two 

o'clock our procession marched off towards the 
foot-hills, which seemed very close at hand. 

We were a motley crowd, and I think our own 
friends would have stared at us fully as hard as 
did the good Chinese of Rinkiho, who gathered 
about us in large, quiet crowds. 

First were two of our soldier-police, neat and 
dapper in their buff uniforms and tasselled 
swords; next Am. strode along, towering almost 
head and shoulders above the Japanese in front 
of him. He had invested that morning in a 



232 LETTERS OF 

peaked dried-grass hat, the kind that the coolies 
wear here, and it made him look like a remark- 
ably tall candle wearing its extinguisher. The 
rest of us strung along, draped with cameras and 
aneroid barometers, while the rear was brought 
up by three more Japanese policemen, two Chi- 
nese police orderlies, and eighteen Chinese coo- 
lies stripped to the waist, bearing our luggage on 
creaking shoulder-poles. 

We walked all afternoon at a good pace, and 
rested at a picturesque police station at about five 
o'clock. The path had led almost all day across 
fine rice-fields and through the rich clumps of 
foliage that spring up about every little stream. 
The villages were frequent, but unless the path 
happened to pass through them, they were en- 
tirely concealed by surrounding shrubbery. The 
villagers here protect themselves by planting a 
square of betel and banana-palms about their 
houses and filling in the spaces with thorny 
shrubs and creepers, until the wall of living 
green is almost impenetrable. Men, women, and 
children all chew the betel-nut, with the result 
that their teeth are stained red, and the whole 
mouth looks as if it were bleeding. 

While we were drinking tea at our resting- 
place, the dark fell suddenly, as it has a habit of 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 233 

doing in this land. One moment we saw the 
betel-palms stand out black against the yellow 
sky, and the next moment we were looking 
through them at the stars. Still Stephen did not 
come, for he had dropped behind early in the 
day, and with him were most of our coolies. An 
hour of rather impatient waiting finally pro- 
duced him, and by seven we were ready to press 
on, supperless, to Guenroka, where we were 
billed to spend the night. 

It was a long and tiring walk in the dark, but 
It was a walk never to be forgotten. The path 
led first through thick black jungle, spangled with 
fireflies, then across a broad river, cold and al- 
most waist-deep, and finally for an hour and a 
half up the side of a stony valley, where we could 
hear the river rushing along beneath us in the 
darkness, but could only catch a flitting gleam 
of torchlight or starlight on the foamy crests of 
its rapids. 

At Guenroka (fifteen hundred feet high, ac- 
cording to our aneroids) we found a police station 
and a few Chinese houses, the last semblance 
of a village we were to see for a number of days. 
While we restored our energies with cup after 
cup of tea, we could hear the thud of falling pu- 
meloes which somebody was shaking out of the 



234 LETTERS OF 

tree for us ; and, sure enough, before long a little 
Chinese boy appeared with a big platter of 
glistening pink triangles, cool, acid, and meaty. 
The pumeloe can certainly teach several points 
to its first cousin the grape-fruit. We had invited 
our police escort to dine with us, not realizing 
at what hour we should finally arrive ; but the 
good cook did his duty, and we sat down to meat 
at exactly a quarter of one o'clock on Tuesday 
morning. A pretty worn-out tableful it was, but 

Mrs. A gracefully did the honors of our onion 

soup and tinned corned-beef hash, and Stephen 
bravely interpreted, when he was n't too busy 
with the food. 

On Tuesday we were up early in spite of our 
dissipation of the night before, and by the morn- 
ing light we could see that we were at the head 
of the valley up which we had travelled the day 
before. Directly behind us was a steep cross 
ridge that connected the lofty side-hills and 
closed the valley. Our first spurt in the morning 
carried us over this hill or ridge, and down the 
other side into a valley with a slightly higher 
floor than the one we had left. Once over the 
ridge, we left the outposts of civilization behind 
us, and for nine days we did not see a cultivated 
field, a water-buffalo, or a Chinese house. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 235 

This second day of walking was very hard for 
the whole party, although the climb was gradual, 
and the end of the day found us only at the 
twenty-eight-hundred-foot level. The path, how- 
ever, if path you could call it, led along the side 
of the river, crossing it so frequently that from 
our knees down we were never dry. At the be- 
ginning of the trip we had discarded shoes, 
which are impossible on account of the wet, the 
wear, and the precarious footing, and adopted 
Japanese tahi, socks with the big toe separated 
from the rest, and waraji or straw sandals. Our 
first day in this unaccustomed footgear had left 
us with a plentiful crop of blisters, skinned toes, 
and embryo stone-bruises, and, as the footing 
on this second day consisted entirely of small 
pointed rocks, every step was painful. 

When we could forget our feet and lift our 
eyes to the mountains, then indeed we were re- 
paid. All day long we travelled up the same nar- 
row valley, hemmed in by steep mountains that 
rose higher and higher as we climbed into the 
heart of them. From ridge-crest to valley-floor 
these hills are rich with foliage, — acacias, betel- 
palms, bamboos, curving tree-ferns or fern trees, 
whichever they may be; and every chink in the 
jungle is filled with flowering shrubs, flowering 



236 LETTERS OF 

trees, flowering vines; but at the valley-floor all 
foliage stops and droops luxuriously over a mo- 
notonous level of jungle-grass. Sveord-grass it is, 
higher than a man's head, higher than a man on 
horseback, green at the root and yellow at the 
top ; an ugly grass that reaches out a gentle whis- 
pering blade, sharp as a Toledo, and gashes the 
cheek or the arm till the blood flows ; and yet it is 
most useful, for the natives make of it mats and 
houses, sword-belts and hats, and maybe other 
things. 

About the time that the sun saw fit to dis- 
appear behind the mountains at the right hand, 
by which you will know that we were travelling 
south, we found ourselves at the foot of a steep 
hill closing this second valley (Doone Valley, Am. 
called it, with John Ridd and the Lady Lorna in 
his mind), just in the same manner that our first 
valley was shut in by a ridge. Twenty minutes 
of scrambling showed us a small plateau thinly 
timbered and rolling, and towering all about us 
were real mountains, ridge behind ridge and peak 
behind peak, that had been hidden until now 
by the close, steep hills about us. To the left, 
which means southeast, the brave little mountain 
stream we had followed so far had split them 
asunder ; the valley cleft was filled with gray roll- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 237 

ing clouds, but against the clear sky, high above 
the clouds, high above everything else in sight, 
we had our first view of the mountain which we 
had come to climb — Mt. Morrison, it is called 
on the maps, in memory of the first Englishman 
who caught a glimpse of- it and said so. Nii- 
taka-yama, the Japanese call it; the New High 
Mountain, their beloved Fuji being the Old. We 
had served our two days' apprenticeship and 
initiation; behind us, a dull foot-weary day's 
march, were the last outposts of Formosan civ- 
ilization, and before us, suddenly revealed, an 
unknown land of beautiful mountains and for- 
ests and strange people; a blessed virgin coun- 
try, far from the influence of Baedeker and 
Cook's Tours. 

There is a lonely police outpost here, and ten 
minutes across the plateau brought us to the 
stockade, a tall bamboo fence armed with four 
rows of protruding bamboo-spikes, to discour- 
age besiegers who might be inclined to crawl 
through or climb over; the gate-posts had 
sprouted green boughs ! Inside was a house, with 
walls and doors and a wooden box full of hot 
water. "Mon Doo," as the English clerk says 
when he wants to be cosmopolitan, " Mon Doo, 
a bath ! " Furthermore, we found tea and 



238 LETTERS OF 

oranges, and an officer who was to join our ex- 
pedition. Kurota San, his name, and he has 
lived here seven years, knows the savage lan- 
guage, and has been up the mountain. Here too 
we saw our savages for the first time : the yard 
was full of them, for Chinese coolies refused to 
go farther, and from now on we were to have 
savage bearers. 

The information published about these savage 
people is very slight. Mr. Davidson, a former 
United States Consul, has them divided into 
tribes and briefly described in his huge volume 
on Formosa. The Japanese gentleman who 
wrote "Japanese Rule in Formosa," for Baron 
Goto, has also the same material slightly con- 
densed, and there is an account written by the 
correspondent of the Hong Kong Daily Press, 
who went from Taihoku to a northern police- 
post and back, in the same day, and recorded 
his observations. All other books that I could 
find simply said that the mountains of east For- 
mosa have been since the beginning in the hands 
of fierce tribes of head-hunters, supposedly of 
Malay origin. Practically the only visits made 
to the savages have been brief calls of a few 
hours at one of the border police stations of semi- 
civilized coast-villages, at which the steamers 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 239 

stop, where the visitors' intercourse with them 
is limited to the haggling purchase of a loin- 
cloth or a string of beads. 

The gathered facts I was able to glean are that 
in the mountains live seven tribes of savages 
differing slightly in dress, appearance, and cus- 
tom, and differing greatly in language. On the 
plains lives an eighth tribe, the Pepo or Pephu- 
ans, who have become reconciled to Chinese 
dress and customs. All of the hill tribes were 
left undisturbed by the Chinese, who drew a 
trench along the edge of the plains defining their 
country; and in return the savages kept mainly 
to the hills, descending now and then for a few 
be-pigtailed heads, for no youth could sit in 
council or take unto himself a wife until he had 
presented the village with a fresh head. In 1895, 
when the Japanese took possession, they passed 
a law that the savages should retain their old 
lands, and Japanese subjects were forbidden to 
settle in, or even to enter, savage territory with- 
out permission, under penaltyof fine or imprison- 
ment. They also established a series of border 
police stations, to protect the people of the plains 
and to gain the friendship and confidence of 
the savages. Of course there was fighting, but 
the matter mended gradually, and the southern 



240 LETTERS OF 

tribes gave up head-hunting and ceased attack- 
ing the stations. Just now the northern tribe, 
the Atayals, are making a desperate struggle, and 
are gleaning a very large number of Japanese 
and Chinese heads for their village collections; 
but although the trouble has threatened to 
spread further south, it has not, as yet. 

The section of the country in which we found 
ourselves, at the Namakama police post, has 
been quiet to all intents for the last six years, 
although as late as last January (1907) a China- 
man was found, almost at the stockade wall, in 
the unfortunate condition of having had his 
head removed. 

The savages in the courtyard watched us eat 
and watched us bathe and watched us prepare 
for bed. They did this, not with vulgar crowd- 
ing and talking, but aloof, in silence. Their 
bearing was a strange mixture of sullenness and 
dignity, and their attitude was that they might 
as well watch us, having nothing better to do. 
We watched them too, a little afraid to do so 
openly; for we had been warned that we must 
let them severely alone; they would stand no 
" fooling." Our first meeting with them gave us 
nothing definite, it was only an impression ; but 
you shall have it for what impressions are worth. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 241 

They stood mostly in the dark, but we could 
see that the men were well-built and graceful, 
wearing very few clothes. Their faces were fine 
but stern, their mouths cruel. All of the men 
wore beads and swords, or rather, ugly long 
knives in open sheaths. Even the boys, children 
of twelve, carried these knives and wore the 
same sullen, old look that their fathers had. The 
girls were covered decently from neck to ankles, 
and stood by twos and threes with their arms 
about each other; they were rather pretty. At 
our door I noticed two savages talking with one 
of our policemen, a quiet, straight-nosed man 
who had walked in front of me during the day 
and had never smiled. I went out and asked him 
in phrase-book Japanese whether he under- 
stood their talk. He pointed to the nearest sav- 
age: "Kyodai," he said, "my brother." Then I 
noticed that his ears were pierced, and two of his 
teeth removed, and his nose straighter than any 
Japanese nose, but the rest of the man was as 
civilized as Kobayashi San, our sub-prefect, or 
as you or I. A hopeful sign for the future of his 
race. As he pointed to his savage companions, 
they bowed very low, without smiling or speaking. 
I grunted, because I did not know what else to do ; 
they grunted back; it seems we were friends. 



242 LETTERS OF 

Here, you see, the Japanese have no color- 
problem or race-problem, as we have with the 
Filipinos or American Indians. Pacification, 
education, and absorption or cooperation, seem 
to be the wisest course, and have many Japanese 
advocates. The tribes have shown no signs of 
degeneration as yet, and will most probably 
escape the fate of extinction which has fallen 
upon nearly all other aborigines. 

Before going to sleep I thought of the account 
that the Hong Kong newspaper man wrote. "I 
was received in a very friendly way," he says, 
" but at the same time I felt that no trust could 
be put in the savages, whose faces bore the stamp 
of treachery and bloodthirstiness." That night 
I agreed with him, but now his conclusion seems 
tourist-like and superficial; for his impression 
and mine, while very true as impressions, were 
very false as facts. He also said, referring to the 
northern post he visited : " Beyond this spot no 
one can go; the silent forest stretches for mile 
after mile beyond the ken of civilized man; its 
denizens, man and beast alike, savage and un- 
approachable." Here we were at a correspond- 
ing border-post, and beyond that spot we were 
about to go, for several days ; there was food for 
pleasant dreams in that reflection, and on it I fell 
asleep. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 243 

"Does the road wind up-hill all the way? 
Yes, to the very end." ^ 

Such are the opening lines of a poem by Chris- 
tina Georgina Rossetti, and they are an apt com- 
mentary on our third day's climb, except for the 
fact that there was no road, and the track we 
took did not wind at all but went straight up, 
like a fly's track on the wall. 

We started shortly after daybreak, and made 
straight up the new valley, above which Nii-taka- 

'UP-HILL 

Does the road wind up-hill all the way ? 

TeSy to the very end. 
Will the day's journey take the whole day long ? 
From morn to nighty my friend. 

But is there for the night a resting-place } 
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. 

May not the darkness hide it from my face ? 
Tou cannot miss that inn. 

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night ? 

Those who have gone before. 
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight ? 
They will not keep you standing at the door. 

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak ? 

Of labor you shall find the sum. 
Will there be beds for me and all who seek ? 

TeOy beds for all who come. 

Christina G. Rossetti. 



244 LETTERS OF 

yatna showed itself for a time and then withdrew 
behind a curtain of light clouds. We left all our 
coolies at Namakama, without being able to per- 
suade one of the lot to continue with us as assist- 
ant to the cook, whose duties, we could see, were 
going to be very heavy. Offers of double pay 
and presents to boot were of no avail ; they only 
looked at the savages, and shook their heads 
decidedly. Lin, our Pekin boy, was frightened 
and very much exhausted, and would have 
turned back if he had known the language ; but 
the Formosa Chinese speak the Amoy dialect, 
and Lin talks only Mandarin and Cantonese. It 
was funny to hear him talking with the cook in 
pidgin-English, their only means of communi- 
cation. The cook, bless his soul ! was a rock of 
determination; it was a bad business, but he 
would see it through; and every night, when 
we straggled into camp and dropped on our 
blankets, tired out, there he was blowing his fire 
and opening tins of food. The only answers he 
ever gave to our commands were, "Awright, 
Master," "Cando, Cando," or, "That belong 
proper." 

This third valley was full of large boulders, 
which made walking easier for our feet, and the 
river was one long rapid. Two savages and a 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 245 

policeman had gone on, one day ahead, and had 
thrown two or three saplings across the torrent, 
where the banks were high and the river too 
swift to ford. Rather unsteady crossing it made, 
but safe if you were n't dizzily inclined. The 
valley was so narrow that it was almost a gorge, 
and often we left the river-bed and had to 
scramble up steep places or over great obstruct- 
ing rocks. At several of the worst of these de- 
tours the advance party had hung long strands 
of looped wire, which helped greatly. Shortly 
before noon the river entered a gorge, with two 
very large steep-sided mountains as walls ; there 
was not room for both our party and the river in 
the gorge, so we started up the mountain on the 
left, and reached by tiffin-time a collection of 
savage huts, known, or rather unknown, as the 
village of Tumpo. 

Our party on this third day was considerably 
larger than it had been, for we had exchanged 
our eighteen Chinese coolies for fifty savages. 
Most of our savages were grown men, but we 
had eight women and four children between 
twelve and fifteen years old. The savages car- 
ried loads of from twenty to forty pounds only, 
in net bags attached to a "tump-line'* across the 
forehead. They climbed at a rapid gait, and 



246 LETTERS OF 

seemed to cast away the restraint and dignity 
they had worn at the station, talking and laugh- 
ing freely among themselves. Early in the morn- 
ing two old men stopped and guffawed to see 
me drinking water out of my hat. "What ho," 
thought I, "this augurs well"; but we were still 
wary and let them severely alone. Whenever the 
climb was a bit steep and slippery, one of the old 
men at the rear would throw back his head and 
bellow, "Ye-e-e-o-oh-ho-ho," and those in front 
would answer, "Yo-ho-ha-ha," running down 
the scale from his note. It is a great cry, and 
from a little distance sounds like a far-off en- 
gine whistle heard through the forest. It was 
always given in the same order and with the 
same notes. 

By daylight we could see the details of their 
costume. Not that there were so many, — far 
from it, — but very different from anything I 
have ever seen. The women wear jackets, and a 
flat vest-cloth hangs over the breasts by a cord 
about the neck. Around their waists they tie a 
cloth that falls skirt-like to the ankles, with an 
opening at the side; a garment almost identical 
with the sarong of Burmah, Java, and Siam. 
As they walked with a fine free swing, you could 
see another piece of cloth, tied about the leg below 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 247 

the knee and falling over the calf. On their 
heads they wear simply folded turbans, and 
about their necks string after string of hard red 
berries. As the day grew warmer, they discarded 
their jackets, but nothing else. 

The men wear nothing on their legs and no- 
thing on their bodies. About their waists they 
have a wide wooden belt, sometimes four inches 
in breadth. This they draw tight like a corset, 
the largest man measuring only about twenty- 
six inches about the waist, and the result is that 
their chests stick out like Sandow's. I suppose 
this belt makes them breathe through their upper 
lungs when climbing. Into the belt they tuck the 
upper corners of a stitched blue loin-cloth. Their 
other garments are one or two bag-like pockets 
hung by strings about the neck, strings of bone 
and colored beads, and very rarely a small chest- 
protector. At night and in the early morning 
they wear loose jackets of deerskin with the hair 
inside, but these garments are resorted to only 
for warmth. On their heads they wear tight caps 
of leather, with a flap hanging over the back of 
the neck and on to the shoulders; these bonnets 
tie under the chin like an old woman's night-cap. 
But the crowning glory, and by far the most in- 
dispensable article in the outfit, is the sword. It 



248 LETTERS OF 

is a rude, sharp knife, about twenty inches long in 
the blade, with a simple wooden grip ; it is sharp 
only on one edge, and is fitted into a sheath with 
a wooden back and metal strips in front; it is 
slung over the shoulder on a grass or leather belt. 
This sword is worn constantly when away from 
the hut, and the owner is supposed never to let 
another handle it. It will be noticed that, from 
behind, the male attire appears to consist only of 
a wide belt about the waist. Both sexes climb 
barefoot. 

We did not stay long at Tumpo, but continued 
our climb for an hour and a half after tiffin. The 
path was merely a succession of footholds or toe- 
holes in the steep bank, and the heels of the man 
directly in front were always above my head. 
The thick jungle-grass about us made it a bit 
easier, for it was strong and could be used to pull 
up on, but it took heavy toll for its usefulness in 
the shape of cut hands. Near the top we reached 
a long vertical scar of rock, and apparently our 
way lay up its surface. Am. and I were climb- 
ing together, some way behind one division of 
savages and ahead of the rest. We scrambled 
up some twenty or thirty feet, but could get no 
farther, for the rock shaled off and crumbled at 
every move, and there were no holds above us. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 249 

Just then the rest of the party appeared below, 
and showed us by shouts and signs that we had 
mistaken the path, which turned up the right 
side of the scar where the grass gave foothold ; 
and there, sure enough, was a long-looped wire 
dangling along the side from a stunted tree. Am. 
had been working to the right, and by strenuous 
effort reached the grass ; but I had worked to the 
left, and could not move up, down, or across. I 
had no foothold, and was holding up by the pres- 
sure of my body against the steep rock, and a 
grip on a tough clump of grass which seemed al- 
ready to be giving way. One of the savages, who 
had reached a point opposite me on the other 
side, handed his pack to another below and 
walked out across the scar as easily as you or I 
would walk a log. The grip of one toe seemed to 
give him secure footing, and with his assistance 
I reached the opposite edge easily. 

Ten minutes more brought us to a level place 
with an altitude of 6000 feet. For half an hour 
we crossed a steep slope around the shoulder of 
the mountain, with the river gorge below us, — 
a slip and a slide of fully 3000 feet by the ane- 
roid glass; then we climbed down 1500 feet, and 
struck the river at the upper end of the gorge. 

We were to sleep this night at Laka-Laka, 



250 LETTERS OF 

where we had been told triumphantly that there 
was a hot spring; so our hopes ran high and we 
scrambled and splashed up the edge of the river 
with desperate good-will. At one point the val- 
ley widened by maybe a hundred feet, and there 
were three large rocks the size of small cabins ; 
the rest of the narrow valley was foaming river 
and jungle-grass. On one of the mighty boulders 
sat Humpo San, a warm-hearted policeman, who 
always spoke in a loud voice as though he were 
very angry, presumably to hide the fact of his 
tender heart. " Laka-Laka," he bellowed, as soon 
as we were within hearing, just as if it were our 
fault and he were scolding us. Then it began to 
rain. 

As usual, Stephen^was not to be found, so we 
could do nothing but sit by in the drizzle and 
watch proceedings. The savages hid the bag- 
gage under a rock and set to work on grass and 
saplings with their swords. Before long Laka- 
Laka was a small village of grass-huts, and fires 
were starting up sullenly, with much heavy wet 
smoke that stung the eyes. The cook patiently 
set to work to build his fire and cook in the 

rain ; but A persuaded four savages to stand 

in the wet and hold the corners of a sheet of 
heavy oil-paper, thus keeping the water out of 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 251 

the soup. Our tent was made of canvas that we 
brought along, and leaked like a sieve, while the 
grass-houses, as we found later, were quite dry. 
After the difficulties had smoothed over and 
supper was ready, Stephen showed up. He had 
spent the time of chaos and confusion sitting in 
the hot spring. 

A gray drizzling morning followed the wet 
night, and the roof of our tent sprayed water like 
a gentle shower-bath. 

"Impossible to proceed," said our escort 
through Stephen. 

" Impossible to remain," said we through Ste- 
phen. 

"The climbing will be dangerously slippery," 
said Stephen. 

"We shall drown in this shower-bath," said 
we. 

The upshot was that we decided to layoff dur- 
ing the day and following night, at the village of 
Laka-Laka (there was one, after all, 500 feet 
straight above us), where we could be more com- 
fortable. By such lucky mischance came about 
the pleasantest feature of the trip. We climbed 
and climbed, with wet leaves slapping us in the 
face, and were soon comfortably sheltered in a 
grass-shed, with three open sides and a blazing 



252 LETTERS OF 

fire in the centre. Then our escort returned to 
the river below, and left us five unarmed stran- 
gers, with two scared Chinese boys, in a village 
of one time head-hunters, who had never before 
seen a white man. The first thing they did was 
to come out through the rain and crown us with 
flowers ! 

Heavy, solid wreaths of marigolds they gave 
us, and the older men of the village wore them, 
too; there was a great store of marigolds, I 
noticed, under the eaves of the big house. Then 
they asked us in to sit by their fire. 

The village of Laka-Laka is not a metropolis ; 
it is a provincial city. It comprises one big house 
and three little ones, built of stones, with a heavy 
grass-roof loaded with boulders against the 
strong winds, for it is over 5000 feet high here. 
Besides these four dwellings, there are three 
sheds, two empty and one full of bones. Deer 
bones, antlers, monkey skulls by the dozen, 
and wild-boar skulls, with cruel tusks, by the 

double dozen. We left Mr. and Mrs. A in 

possession of the hut we first seized ; the three 
of us with the Chinese boys occupied the other 
empty one ; the third shed we left to the bones. 

Am. and I followed the head man into his big 
house while it was still drizzling. It was very 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 253 

dark inside, for there were no windows and the 
smoke-holes in the roof had been closed to keep 
out the rain. There was only one room, a rec- 
tangle ten by twenty feet; the door being in the 
centre of one of the long sides. Overhead were 
strings of lean maize, shelves of bags with some 
sort of grain, and dusty hides hanging together 
in dim outline. Underfoot was an earthen pave- 
ment, and at each end of the room a sunken fire 
was burning. Directly in front of the door were 
two large wooden mortars, in which the women 
were pounding grain with pestles four feet long. 
There were three women to a mortar, and they 
pounded in one, two, three order, just as circus 
men drive stakes for the tent. In a dark corner 
behind the fire two men were standing and work- 
ing their feet, as if they were walking a treadmill 
or trying to clean them on a doormat; I could 
not see what they were standing on just then. 

There were six or eight people grouped about 
each fire, and they made room for us, placing 
billets of wood for us to sit on ; the people at the 
other end of the room came over to our fire. Our 
clothes interested them at first, and then our 
skins. We must roll up our sleeves to show them 
that we were white all over. One litde fellow 
kept rubbing his cheek up and down my arm. 



254 LETTERS OF 

There was a good deal of laughter as we grew 
better acquainted, and the children patted our 
hands and played with them, whereat the elders 
smiled indulgently. My eyes saw more clearly 
now, and I made out that the men wiping their 
feet in the corner were treading deer-hides rolled 
into a ball, working them over and over to make 
them soft. 

The sun came out brightly, and the women 
carried their mortars out-of-doors, and we fol- 
lowed all together. These Laka-Laka people 
were of the same tribe as our fifty porters, and 
their dress and appearance was the same. The 
men are fine-looking, with high foreheads, 
straight noses, straight eyebrows, good eyes, and 
small mouths for the most part; the chin is very 
determined and projects, and the color of the 
skin is a dark tan like that of the Japanese coolie. 
Both sexes knock out one tooth on each side of 
the upper jaw, leaving the two front teeth iso- 
lated ; it is a disfigurement to which you soon be- 
come accustomed; they also pierce the ears and 
wear earrings made of mother-of-pearl shell cut 
into half-moons and hung from the ear by wire. 
We saw them make a pair here; it was an all- 
day task. The hair of the head is worn long to 
the shoulders; the men sometimes tie a cord 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 255 

about the end; there is no hair whatever on the 
body. I might add that, although the nose is 
fine and straight, it is broad at the nostrils, and 
when looked at from the front, makes the unmis- 
takable Malay triangle. Adults and children 
seem to be very healthy; there were no bald- 
headed children, scarred and pitted with dis- 
ease, such as you see in every Chinese village; 
but their legs below the knee were badly scarred 
and cut, and many of them had open wounds, 
so that for an hour we were very busy with anti- 
septic vaseline and torn handkerchiefs. One 
old hunter, in particular, had almost severed his 
great toe by a stroke of his sword. We left him 
a supply of vaseline in a big green leaf. While 
we sat about on rocks, the children brought us 
roasted yams and cracked nuts for us, and as 
a final proof of friendship, set to work on our 
heads to relieve us of unwelcome guests. Great 
was the surprise at not finding them. One boy 
of about ten sat behind me and gravely rubbed 
my back for twenty minutes. 

The savages apparently live on sweet pota- 
toes, a millet-like grain, nuts, and game. We 
bought some very good venison of them. They 
also have chickens and a few healthy-looking 
pigs. We relieved them of two chickens, and 



256 LETTERS OF 

hardly knew how to pay them; for they wanted 
clothes, but we had none to spare; money they 
did not care for, until we showed them how they 
could string the silver coins for a necklace. At 
that, they preferred the big copper pennies to the 
silver twenty-cent pieces. 

The voices of these savages are low and gen- 
tle, and they never speak hurriedly or angrily, 
but answer the loudest shouts of our soldiers 
with a quiet good humor. They treat each other 
with kindness and consideration, and no matter 
how small a gift of cloth or food we gave to one, 
he shared it with as many as possible. They 
treated us without servility, as absolute equals. 

After dinner the entire village gathered about 
our fire, and we held a grand pow-wow. There 
we were, one white woman, the pluckiest I have 
ever known, four white men, two Chinamen, 
and twenty or thirty bare-bodied savages, miles 
from anywhere, huddled together around an 
open fire under the open stars. There was much 
sharing of food with the patriarch of the village- 
family, and then we sang all together, we white 
people. The savages laughed and roared at the 
funny sounds we made, and cried " Mashiach ! " 
which we had discovered means "good.** It was 
not good singing, but you can't expect savages 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 257 

who don't even know their own ages to be expert 
musical critics. 

After the ice was broken, two or three young 
braves, gay with necklaces and heavy brass brace- 
lets, had recognized us as kindred spirits and in- 
sisted on having their arms over our shoulders. 
They escorted the three of us to our lonely shed 
at a little distance from the houses, and as a 
crowning favor one stayed to sleep with us. He 
grew cold, however, as he had no blanket, and 
went back to the fire for the rest of the night. It 
was very dark and cold and still in our open 
shed, and we could hear the river far below and 
the owls answering each other in the jungle close 
about us. 

I had barely closed my eyes after listening to 
the owls, when I heard sticks crackling near at 
hand, and opening them again, I saw a growing 
light on the leaves about the shed. It grew 
brighter, and out of the thick grass stepped one 
of the children of the village with a piece of 
blazing pitchwood in his hand. Sure enough it 
was five o'clock, and time to be up and doing. 
There was no sign of sunrise, but there was a 
cold moon in the sky, and by its light I stumbled 
down to the big house and soon warmed through 
at the chief's fire. Three of the men were looking 



258 LETTERS OF 

to their weapons ; they had one long gun as tall as 
a man, and told me by signs that they were going 
to hunt deer higher up the valley; while it was 
still dark, they set out. 

We gathered in our hats and extra coats, which 
had been adorning our friends the young bucks, 
and started our march shortly after sunrise. As 

a final honor Mrs., A sewed a button on the 

patriarch's chest-cloth, and pinned a big safety- 
pin just beneath; the old fellow swelled like the 
frog in the fable, and evidently felt that his im- 
portance had now reached human limits. A 
moral, a moral ! All the pride of Lucifer over 
a button and a safety-pin; just as worthy hon- 
ors truly as some we civilized people break our 
hearts or swell our chests over. 

This fifth day was a tough climb, but not over- 
long. For three hours we kept to the old valley, 
with the very high peaks close ahead now; then, 
near the end of the valley, we turned sharply to 
the right and climbed up a little tributary. The 
main valley had been steep, and the swift river, 
through which we carried those blessed fox- 
terriers so often, was a succession of rapids, but 
this little stream was one long waterfall or series 
of waterfalls, and so cold that the clear gray rock- 
pools we stepped into stung our feet. It was 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 259 

hands-and-knees work, some of it, up a smooth 
rock or a steep fallen tree, or a notched stick, or 
pulling yourself up on a wire, with your toes 
catching at cracks and ledges. 

We had tiffin at a place where the top man of 
our procession was perhaps sixty feet of vertical 
height above the bottom eater. After tiffin we 
left the water and struck straight up the moun- 
tain, which was wooded to the crest. We were 
high above the opposite wall of the ravine, and 
could look for miles to the west, over the peaks 
and ridges we had been travelling through for 
the last few days. There was nothing to block 
the view straight off towards China. 

The footing of this afternoon's climb was 
rather uncertain; projecting rocks, clumps of 
moss, and tree-roots on the hillside were the 
best we could expect. In several places where 
we were forced to straddle nothing, our advance- 
guard had lashed saplings to the hillside, which 
afforded good footing if you held on by the vines. 
At one of these places a slight accident occurred. 
One of the savage girls slipped and would have 
fallen, had not Am., who was just behind, 
caught her by the arm. As it was, her load 
slipped and crashed down through the small 
trees and bushes. She was wild with excitement 



26o LETTERS OF 

and had to be held for several minutes, during 
which she screamed and tried to jump down 
after her pack. 

Early in the afternoon we pulled ourselves up 
over the edge of a small grassy plateau where we 
were to camp for two nights, making the ascent 
and descent of our mountain in the day between 
them. We had left the tropics two days behind 
us, and here it would be an easy matter to per- 
suade yourself that you were in Switzerland — 
if you could only teach the savages to wear knee- 
breeches and to yodel! Behind us the little 
ravine led down like a ladder to the main valley 
2500 feet below, and the lower mountain-ridges 
lay stretched out like the roofs of a German vil- 
lage. Before us was the cozy little plateau, pos- 
sibly a quarter of a mile square, bounded on 
the left and at the back by high mountains, and 
at the right by a deep, clifF-sided valley, across 
which rose the triple peaks of Nii-taka-yama, 
Here we met our advance-guard for the first 
time, and built our huts in a little grove of 
twisted pines where there was water. This place 
is called Hat-su-gang. The glass registered 9300 
feet, and it grew cold even while the sun was 
shining ; but our huts were of thick, fragrant pine- 
boughs, and the fire blazed merrily at the foot 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 261 

of a centuries-old pine tree that looked as if it 
were trying to shelter the whole plateau under 
its great gnarled branches. 

The savages were cold and crowded about our 
fire, clothed in all the odd garments we could 
spare. It was a funny sight to see a young flower- 
crowned brave, with nothing on but his sword 
and a pair of long cotton underdrawers ; or to see 
another trying to get warm in a panama hat and 
a pair of white woollen gloves. I sat on a log, 
reading, with a blanket over my shoulders, and 
a boy named Uschlung, who had grown very 
friendly, crept under one corner, holding on with 
an arm about my waist. His teeth were chat- 
tering, but his little brown body felt as warm 
as a stove against mine. His running mate, Ibi, 
monopolized the other end, so I closed the book 
and had a lesson in savage dialect. By this time 
I had collected about forty words, and the boys 
never tired of bringing new objects and telling me 
their names, or going over their own anatomies 
in search of some unnamed finger or toe. They 
tried to learn the English equivalents as well, 
and pronounced our words with far greater ease 
than the Chinese and Japanese beginners do, in 
spite of the fact that their own language has very 
few sounds. The most noticeable sound in their 



262 LETTERS OF 

language is ch pronounced like the German ch 
in Ich ; they use this sound in almost every word, 
sch at the beginning or in the middle of the word, 
and chl at the end. The result is a sibilant 
sound running all through their talk; and as 
their voices are low and musical, and the intona- 
tion gentle and varied, the effect is very pleasing. 

The night was bitterly cold : we suffered under 
our blankets, and in the morning there was a 
heavy frost; but we got under way as soon as 
there was light enough. Most of the savages 
remained in camp with our Chinese boys, who 
were sadly in need of rest, but we took with us 
six strong young men, and one old hunter as 
guide. Six policemen and our five selves made 
eighteen in all. 

I have said that there was a valley at the right 
of the plateau. This valley runs from east to 
west almost to the western edge, over which we 
had come ; then it turns south into the very heart 
of Nii-taka-yama and its three peaks. The lowest 
peak is at the right of the valley, east ; the second 
peak is at the left, west ; and the third is straight 
ahead, south. It was the second peak which we 
were to climb. 

Our route first led along the side of the deep 
valley-cleft, working towards its southern end. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 263 

For an hour we crossed the steep slope of slippery 
grass without rising more than 100 feet. There 
was barely foothold for the side of the foot, and 
loose rocks, dislodged by our feet, reached the 
valley-floor beneath by great leaps. I should say 
this valley was not over 1000 feet deep. 

At the valley-head there was a lofty waterfall, 
above which the stream was only some 300 feet 
below us ; we descended to it and scrambled up 
its course for half an hour. At our left the first 
peak rose abruptly, a wall of gray rock with 
quartz streaks; directly ahead was the third 
peak, a reddish precipice with a curved top ; the 
second peak, which we were to climb, was at our 
right, but we could not see the top, only a steep, 
tree-covered bank that rose up to meet the sky. 

An hour's climb cleared us of the forest at the 
10,500 foot level. An hour over grass slopes, 
steep as a slope can be and remain a slope at all, 
brought us close to 12,000 feet. Here we found a 
level spot to breathe in, and a trickle of water, 
and soon after leaving the water, we struck bare 
rock and reached the crest of a ridge that led 
straight up to the peak, like a spinal column. 
This ridge was not by any means narrow enough 
to straddle, but it would be possible for any one 
so inclined to fall off either side if he chose. The 



264 LETTERS OF 

day was beautiful, — windless, cloudless, cold, 
— and the view opening about us on all sides 
seemed infinite ; but the climb was muscle-tiring, 
throat-parching, head-throbbing work, and there 
was not much conversation. I think the last 
thousand feet on rock was the easiest part of the 
climb, however, for footing and hand-holds were 
good, and when you placed your foot on a ledge, 
you knew that both the foot and the ledge were 
going to stay right there. 

A , our Consul, was the first American 

ever to set foot on the top, and the rest of us 
followed in quick succession. 

"Over the Bunch," said Am., as he sat himself 
down on a comfortable rock. 

Of the view I suppose I must speak, for it was 
the great feature of the expedition ; but a view 
from a very high mountain does not lend itself 
to the limitation of words. Too many elements 
enter into it. There is the fatigue of the climb, 
the exhilaration of the altitude, the humming of 
blood in your ears, and all the fleeting glories of 
sunlight and atmosphere — there is also a sug- 
gestion of infinity that transcends juggling with 
the alphabet. Suffice it to say that, near at hand, 
were the mighty sister-peaks, and round about, 
a host of lesser dignitaries like lords about the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 265 

throne, less than the king but very mighty men ; 
behind them, peaks and peaks, north, south, east, 
and west, and far away, both at the right hand 
and at the left hand, quivered a hazy ocean. The 
forests below were masses of cool green, and in 
every valley gleamed a thread of silver; the rock- 
ridges were glowing browns and reds, with clear- 
cut blue shadows; there was a haze of smoke 
in one valley from a forest fire, and the light over 
all was glorious. For half an hour we had a 
clear view, then clouds blotted out everything 
and rolled about the valley, while the peaks still 
glowed in sunlight. 

Both of our aneroids became dizzy and rather 
lost their heads, for one registered over 14,000 
feet and the other 13,300. The highest peak 
is officially supposed to be 13,880 feet, and 
our peak is most probably between 13,500 and 
13,600 feet. 

There was not room for us all on the very tip- 
top, but we perched as near it as possible and 
patted each other on the back. It seems that we 
were the first foreigners to ascend this second 
peak, and the second party; for two Japanese 
gentlemen and one of our own escort, Kurota 
San, had preceded us by one year. We were the 
second party of foreigners to ascend the moun- 



266 LETTERS OF 

tain at all, and the fourth party to try, but, best 
of all, the first Americans ever to enter the dis- 
trict. 

Ten years ago a German party succeeded in 
reaching the third peak, which is about 200 feet 
higher than the one we climbed. Some time 
later, an English party under Captain Goodfellow 
made the attempt, but in one of the lower valleys 
the Captain fell into a trap that the savages had 
set for wild beasts, and was forced to return for 
treatment at a hospital. Last year a party from 
the British Museum, according to Kurota San, 
although I imagine it was the Royal Geographic 
Society, made the attempt, but they got no fur- 
ther than Hat-su-gang, where they were delayed 
for several days by bad weather. 

The climb in itself is tiring, and its length, 
five days, makes it quite an undertaking, but 
there are no real difficulties in the way, and 
no skill or knowledge is required for the work. 
There are plenty of places where a misstep might 
prove fatal, but it is always easy not to make the 
misstep. While the island was under Chinese 
government, there was no protection guaranteed 
against the savages, and now so much govern- 
ment assistance is required that a private indi- 
vidual hesitates to ask for it; this, rather than 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 267 

the natural difficulties, is the reason why the trip 
has been so rarely accomplished. 

The descent of the mountain through clouds 
was rather more tiring than the ascent; but we 
reached the camp at Hat-su-gang before dark, 
and slept deeply. 

The next morning we started back, favored 
by perfect weather. We travelled fast, sliding 
with seven-league steps down slopes of loose 
rock that we had toiled up inch by inch. So fast 
we travelled that we lunched at Laka-Laka, the 
hot spring in which Stephen so loved to wallow, 
and spent the night at Tumpo over the steep hill. 
It was a wearing day, but we finished it with an 
hour of daylight to spare. 

Am. and I sat on a fallen log in a grove of 
banana-palms at the valley's edge, and talked 
feelingly (a banana in each hand) of the time 
when these beautiful silent places, disturbed only 
by the sound of winds and rushing streams and 
birds, would be spoken of as the "Japanese 
Alps," and included in every globe-trotter's itin- 
erary. Just opposite us a short valley branched 
off to the south, its green mountain walls 8000 
feet at least, and a brawling torrent creaming 
along its floor. We watched the shadow steal up 
to the top of the eastern wall and the lazy clouds 



268 LETTERS OF 

crawl around each jutting shoulder and along 
the valley-bottom, until the whole beautiful 
scene was just a formless, solid jumble against 
the tender western glory. Hotels and portly 
ladies en grande tour seemed a long way off just 
then. 

In this village, Tumpo, we were rummaging 
about the bone-shed, among boar jaws and 
monkey skulls, when we came quite suddenly 
upon three human skulls. 

It was the last night we were to have this tribe 
of savages with us, and Uschlung hung about in 
an access of affection, even suggesting sleeping 
with us, but the quarters were narrow as it was. 
I told him about the skulls, for this was his village. 
He laughed and nodded, pointing to his sword 
and his neck, then he cuddled closer and drew 
my arm over his shoulder. Truly, crime is more 
or less a matter of latitude and longitude, and 
missionaries ought to be able to do wonders with 
these gentle people, who now look on murder as 
a cardinal virtue. By this time we had grown 
quite expert at sign-language with our savage 
friends, and they told us at length of their daily 
life. They showed us how they hunted deer, and 
lay in wait with knives for the wild boar; they 
pointed out long tusk-scars on their legs and 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 269 

arms, and showed us the round tunnels or run- 
ways thditB ahoo, the wild boar, makes in the 
jungle-grass; and they broke off the leaves of 
the fleshy elephant-ear plant, to show how they 
drink the sap. We learned nothing, however, 
about their religion, except that they believe 
implicitly in signs and omens. They would not 
permit Stephen to pick a certain flowering grass, 
lest all their tribe fall sick. One day we passed 
a tiny hut of stones, not more than a foot square, 
and in it were off^erings of wild fruit and scar- 
let berries. They hide their graves, and seem 
to believe that there are spirits in the trees 
and rocks. Dacho and Oomush had joined our 
group of intimates in the last day or two, and 
when we parted at Hosha, we went through 
their ceremony of friendship, drinking out of the 
same cup with them at the same time, — a skill- 
demanding performance that is gone through 
with cheek to cheek. 

On the day after we left Tumpo, we turned 
up a branch valley to the south, leaving our up- 
trail, and returned to the railroad by a four days* 
climb over Ari-san. Mt. Ari is a trifle over 8000 
feet high, and the two days' climb to its summit, 
up the Hosha Valley, was as rough work as we 
had on the Mt. Morrison trip; but the two days 



270 LETTERS OF 

down the other side to Kagi and the railroad 
were on a real path, two feet wide, at least. 

The new tribe of savages that we took for por- 
ters at Hosha (sounds like a large town, but it 
was only ten grass and bamboo huts with a few 
banana-palms) were of a slightly different type. 
They wore long feathers sewed to their deer- 
skin caps, wore more jewelry, stuck flowers 
through their pierced ears, when they did n't 
have the pearl half-moons, and talked a language 
which seemed to have no points in common with 
the language of our old Namakama friends. 
Their village had a large open council-shed on 
stilts, that you reached by climbing up a notched 
stick. In the centre was a stone platform for fire, 
and around this the boys and unmarried braves 
sleep. No woman is allowed to enter the shed, 
and no article of woman's manufacture is used 
there, for fear of making the young warriors 
effeminate. They knock out their teeth in the 
same way and have the same general type of 
features, but are on the whole a handsomer lot 
of men. One of the youths had a profile like a 
cameo or a Greek coin, and when he lay about 
camp after the day's work, in graceful long- 
limbed poses, with a wreath of white flowers and 
golden ferns, he looked for all the world like 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 271 

a young Athenian ready for some fashionable 
symposium. This classic youth had a -jidus 
Achates as well, who followed his every move 
and walked up impossible tree-trunks to gather 
the ferns growing on the branches, for his friend. 
The Hosha people sang, too, at night. One man 
would extemporize a verse, and all the rest would 
raise their voices in the chorus, until it ran the 
whole length of the line of camp-fires gleaming 
through the long grass. A long-drawn chant of 
three notes, ending in a throaty slur down scale 
thrice repeated. No falsetto, but full chest-tones 
and very musical. In music and appearance, in 
disposition and their love of flowers, these people 
remind me of what I have heard of the Samoans. 
There is also a Samoan or Tongan village 
named Laka-Laka! I went to sleep with the 
music in my ears, and early the next morning I 
turned in my blanket and looked out the tent- 
door, just in time to see the Athenian rise from 
his camp-fire, stretch his arms wide, black against 
the starlight, throw back his head, and wake the 
camp with a verse of his own to the old chant. 
Back came the answer, rather a sleepy chorus, 
but droning ofi^ to the very end of the camp. Dim 
figures rose out of the grass, and the day's work 
was on. 



272 LETTERS OF 

Just over the windy crest of Ari-san, at a 
height of 7100 feet, is the pioneer office of the 
Fiyita Lumber Company. It will be eight years 
before they begin to cut, but they are working 
hard, and by that time expect to have a narrow- 
gauge railroad, 30 inches, connecting them with 
Kagi. They have 40,000 acres of pine, cedar, and 
live oak; about 2,000,000,000 timber feet, they 
estimate ; and the wood samples they showed us 
were excellent. Here we returned to the luxury 
of a soft Japanese floor. 

The two days from Fiyita to Kagi are long 
ones, but, as I said before, there is a real path, 
and the way is all through beautiful forests, with 
occasional sorties on the edge of valleys 2000 and 
3000 feet deep, as the stone drops. The first day 
was all through conifers, and we did not see a 
house or a clearing until we reached the little 
station which the Fiyita Company keeps for its 
own convenience. Tall, beautiful trees they 
were, one of them, near the office, measuring 
seventy feet in circumference. Great swinging 
creepers drape from tree to tree and hang in 
hundred-foot loops from the branches; ferns 
grow profusely on all the trees, and huge glossy- 
leaved parasites or air plants fill the branches; 
the place is alive with pheasants and partridge. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 273 

and you often hear them whir away from the 
path at your approach. 

The second day was partly through live oak 
and partly through a bamboo forest, where the 
green sun-streaked stems were so close together 
that they looked like a hedge lining the path 
ahead of us, and their heavy plumes meeting 
overhead made the way dark at noonday. In 
this forest we passed several tiny houses, where 
Chinese live to make paper from the bamboo, 
which they soak in big pits beside the path. The 
final descent of almost 4000 feet is a rapid one, 
and is over with in a little more than three hours; 
a sort of a run-and-jump affair. 

The savages carried all the way to the rail- 
road for us. It was a great lark and a new 
experience for them, and they raced along the 
level country singing and shouting under their 
loads, to the consternation of the Chinese coo- 
lies who lined up by the roadside to let them 
pass. 

Back again to the bleeding mouths of the 
betel-chewers ; the wide-horned suspicious water- 
buffaloes ploughing under the old rice crop, or 
cooling their blue-black hulks in wayside pools, 
with only the muzzle and horns above water. 
Back to the fawn-colored humped oxen, steered 



274 LETTERS OF 

in their ponderous courses by Chinese babies 
straddling their necks. 

When we left civilization, all Formosa was 
bending its rice crop over by hand, to forestall 
the expected typhoon (which never comes, let 
me whisper) ; now all Formosa was* threshing, — 
pounding bunches of rice against the edge of the 
tub with a net back-stop to guide the flying 
grain aright; or ploughing under the stubble 
of the last crop. All the climbing, all the toils 
and pleasure of mountain and forest, all the 
Uschlungs and Ibis are "Finish," as pidgin- 
English hath it, and we are the richer by a 
few memories and savage trinkets, and the 
poorer by two blankets and an extra coat, 
which Oomuch now flaunts to the envy of all 
Namakama. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 275 

Hong Kong, Victoria, 
November 19, 1907. 

Dear Old Soak, — Your blessed yellow en- 
velope and contents has been lying here since 
October loth, and only a few days ago did I re- 
ceive it, for contrary to plans and expectations, 
I have been spending September, October, and 
half of this good turkey month in the grass 
plains of Mongolia and in the savage fastnesses 
of Formosa, — Ihle Formosa, — the beautiful 
isle, as the Portuguese called it. We have just 
returned from the latter, where we joined our 

young consul, A , in an exploring trip 

through the jungle to the top of Mt. Morrison, 
Japan's highest point of land, almost fourteen 
thousand feet. 

I suppose you are now deep in the mysteries 
of Pennsylvania law, and I imagine you are mak- 
ing a great name for yourself in Quaker-town, 
especially as the fate of Kiri II is at stake on 
your success. I can see you humped over a desk 
with a green shade bound to your noble dome, 
and a headache brewing therein, as the torts and 
retorts dance across the page. I suppose that by 
this time you have become re-acquainted with 
Fred, the Pride of Pennsylvania, and begin to 
feel at home in the great new house, where I 



276 LETTERS OF 

intend to break a friendly crust some day, the 
Lord and the Ballards being willing. 

Hugh I have not heard from since I left home, 
but shall write him as long a letter as I have ink 
for, on the boat between this port and Singapore. 
Dick wrote me a steamer letter, which I answered 
from Japan. I have hopes of a reply. Out here 
where my feet are pointing straight up at the 
soles of all my friends' feet, it gives me great 
pleasure to think and wonder what you are all 
doing, and how the winter that I am going to lose 
out of my life is beginning to set in at home. 
Here we have palm trees and great hedges of 
flowers along the roadside. 

There is one part of our trip that I know you 
would like — the water. I know that you turn 
up your nose at anything longer than forty feet 
or anything with a propeller, but you would like 
these boats. We have been on eight craft for 
over three days to a week apiece, in the Yellow 
Sea and North China Sea, and not one has been 
over two thousand tons burthen, while some 
have been under one thousand. Broad-decked 
little cargo ships, with Chinese crews and Scotch 
officers and two passenger cabins. The captains 
and mates and engineers are usually old adven- 
turers with wonderful yarns to spin. Wonderful 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 277 

nights we have had, with the spray flying and 
the masts reeling among the stars ; wonderful 
days sliding over a turquoise ocean in the haze 
of an Indian summer, with the red islands 
gleaming through it, and mat-sailed junks on 
every hand, in which naked fishermen were pull- 
ing in their nets. 

Wally, John, Ted, and Reese Alsop, who were 
with us in Japan, went home a long time ago 
across Siberia. 

Purdy and Scurve went mad during late Au- 
gust in Japan, and showed their insanity by giv- 
ing up the whole wonderful Orient, and starting 
up the Yangtze for India, which they will reach 
at the same time we do, — about January. They 
will have thirty-six hundred miles to travel by 
junk and donkey, but there is a good trade-route 
all the way, and the country is perfectly safe. 

I wish you could have seen Scurve's outfit. He 
started with thirteen pieces of luggage, all cata- 
logued and numbered with big red figures. Ask 
him for anything and he would pull out a book, 
puzzle over it for half an hour, and then announce, 
— " Box number ten, tray three, case four, com- 
partment six." The joke of it was that he never 
put things back in the same place, and after a 
week his system was useless. He had one trunk 



278 LETTERS OF 

full of photograph supplies, and it weighed more 
than a grand piano. It was a little innocent- 
looking box, and we used to watch the coolies 
tackle it in a gay, debonair manner. At the first 
attack it usually refused to budge, and finally 
two of them would stagger off under it, groaning 
like camels. 

I meant to write you a merry letter, but this 
tract is neither merry nor instructive. For a 
week I have seen nothing but a sick-room all day, 
and my bedroom at night, and I am very tired 
and a little homesick for you all ; hence the medi- 
ocrity of these sheets. I am going to Java by 
way of Singapore in a day or so, and maybe 
I can write from there something to make you 
laugh. Send me a letter care of Thomas Cook, 
Bombay, India. If you write it by the New Year, 
I shall get it safely, but don't feel you must wait 
till then. 

Please give my love to your mother and to 
Mary, and my warm friendship to your father 
and Fred. For yourself, I am sure you remember 
our talk, and that last mournful supper you and 
Dick and I had, too well to need any messages. 

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 
to you all, old Speed. 

Yours, Gil. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 279 

Hong Kong, November 19, 1907. 

Dear Mrs. G , According to the rules of 

epistolary give and take, this letter should be 
addressed to Philip, who is, I suppose, by this 
time my most mortal enemy; but please tell him 
that he is often in my thoughts and I am waiting 
to write him from Java, where, if rumor speaks 
truly, I shall find matter to interest him withal. 
The debt I owe to you is not so trivial as the an- 
swer to a letter, — it is a debt of many happy 
hours and pleasant memories, which I shall never 
pay in full. 

I found here a letter from Lawrence Mason, 
written months ago, in which he mentioned hav- 
ing spent a Sunday at Glazierbury. The refer- 
ence raised such ghosts of by-gone week-ends , 
about me, that I was moved to put pen to paper 
straightway. 

Our party of four is rather scattered at present, 
although we shall meet next month, I hope. For 
two months Amasa Mather and I have been 
alone with our Chinese boy Lin, whom Minister 
R kindly gave us at Pekin, as he was leav- 
ing shortly for home. We have been avoiding 
tourists and their haunts, and have been trying 
to prove ourselves travellers, not mere trippers. 
By which I mean that we have tried to get into 



28o LETTERS OF 

the heart of the country and of the people we 
have been among, that we aim for facts rather 
than impressions, that we leave prejudice at 
home, seeking a new point of view at every step, 
and giving up the threadbare "grande route" to 
Mr. Cook's Shepherds and their flock. 

Our last achievement was an exploring trip 
with our consul at Formosa, into the head- 
hunters' district. 

Formosa is terra incognita, even to those who 
live here and along the China coast not more 
than one hundred miles away from its shores; 
but it is so beautiful that people will soon dis- 
cover it. 

The mountains are filled with aboriginal sav- 
ages, the plains with peaceful, hard-working 
Chinese peasants, and the villages of the extreme 
north and extreme south are well sprinkled with 
Japanese, some of whom, like Mioshi, Minister 
of Foreign AiFairs, are Harvard men and delight- 
ful companions. 

There are no hotels on the island, but plenty 
of clean Japanese inns, and any one who is fond 
of Japanese food, which is delicious after you 
get used to the taste of the sauces and raw-fish 
dishes, and can sleep well on the mat-floors, can 
be as comfortable in Formosa as in Connecticut. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 281 

At Hokuto, however, there is a large inn, which 
boasts two foreign beds and a Chinese cook, who 
can make omelets and souffles ! Hokuto is a cool 
little village, not far from Taipeh, the northern 
capital, and here we lay lotus-eating, while the 
government completed arrangements for our 
trip into the interior. 

The village is strung out through feathery 
bamboo-clumps along a smooth white road, with 
here and there an ugly Chinese joss, or a pool, in 
which huge water-buffaloes are wallowing, while 
the Chinese youngsters that tend them are 
squatting on the bank. Our inn faced the head 
of this road, but the rooms opened like wide- 
mouthed caves on a deep gallery at the back. 
Here you could lounge all day and never tire of 
resting. Just below is a gentle slope, more park 
than garden, full of thick green trees heavy with 
golden pumeloes, flowering bushes, and hanging 
vines. Through them you look across level rice- 
fields to a semicircle of high green mountains 
that make a new horizon, not over three miles 
distant. Let me give you a sample evening. 

It grows dark early here, and after we have 
finished our fish and mushrooms and turnip- 
pickle and seaweed, and chased the last grain of 
rice about the bowl with our chopsticks, night 



282 LETTERS OF 

has quite fallen. We are the only white people 
this side of Taipeh (there are only about forty on 
the whole island, — tea-people), so we dress all 
day in kimonos only, at Hokuto, and slipping 
the thong of a straw sandal between our bare 
toes, we shuffle out to the road at the inn door. 
The night is full of strange odors and tropic 
sounds, and insect motor-cars whizz by over- 
head. 

There is a little open shed at the inn gate, 
where a family of Chinese peasants sell fruit; 
they are all sitting on benches, in the shadow of 
the heavy foliage, outside of which the road lies 
white in the moonlight; but they make a place 
for us as soon as we appear. There are no Eng- 
lish-speaking natives, even at our inn, nearer 
than Taipeh, but we know a few Japanese 
phrases and so do the Chinese peasants, so con- 
versation is easy but not eloquent. One of the 
young fellows brings out a wooden banjo with 
three strings, and plays for us, while another, 
stripped to the waist for coolness, with his head 
on the player's shoulder, sings a long quavering 
song in high falsetto. Then a neighbor boy 
strolls by, his cue bound across his forehead like 
a wreath, and with a calm Buddha-like face, 
delicate and almost beautiful, — a common type 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 283 

among the healthy peasants. He has a big bunch 
of fire-crackers which he is going to offer to the 
grinning joss across the road there in the acacia 
shadow. Everybody takes a handful, and in an 
instant the air is full of brilliant explosions that 
quite put out the big Formosa fire-flies, and a 
dozen crackers tied together are spluttering at 
the idol's feet. There is much laughing and 
jumping about and setting oflF of crackers under 
one another when not looking. Afterwards one 
of the boys tells me that he set off his crackers 
for the success of our trip into the savage coun- 
try; they all shake their heads over this trip, 
and try to persuade us not to take it. 

Later we take a paper lantern and towels, and 
all stumble downhill through the dark, to where 
a mountain stream brawls through the rocks and 
skirts the bottom of the inn garden ; and the won- 
der of it all is that it is a mineral stream, so hot 
that you slip into it by degrees ! The place we 
choose is a broad pool, as large as the Glazier- 
bury dining-room or larger, with high banks and 
a foaming waterfall at one end, to beat down on 
your back if you so desire. We put the lantern 
on the bank, and, throwing off kimonos, slip into 
the warm stream and pick out a shallow place 
where we can sit lazily on the sandy bottom and 



284 LETTERS OF 

keep our heads above water. A new sensation 
it is, in this worn-out old world, to lie there in 
luxury with the brown peasant boys splashing 
about, and look up at the open stars and the 
sheltering banks, heavy with drooping ferns and 
wild morning-glories. 

After a time we troop back to bed, and just 
at the right moment, for not far from the pool 
we pass an old Chinese woman and her tiny- 
footed daughters, stumping down on their little 
sheep feet for an evening plunge, with a big 
dragon-sprawled lantern bobbing merrily ahead 
of them. 

Do you wonder that we take the trouble to 
avoid the clubs and hotels and tourist-twaddle 
of the beaten track, if we can spend evenings 
like this one by ourselves ? 

Do write me a letter, and thereby add a jot to 
the heavy load I owe you already; care Thomas 
Cook, Bombay, India, will reach me if you send 
it before the new year gets too old, and it would 
be a welcome Christmas gift. Please give my love 

to M , and my best regards to Mr. G y 

P , and the renowned, redoubtable, and 

otherwise engaged S . For yourself best 

wishes and a very Merry Christmas. 

Sincerely, Gilbert Stark. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 285 

Enclosed please look for an earring made of 
brass and jade; it is a worthless bauble, but may 
interest you, as it once adorned the ear of a 
Manchu lady in Pekin. I did not get it at a 
globe-trotter's shop, but picked it up for a song 
from a native Manchu at Pekin. 

Gilbert. 



CHAPTER V 
CANTON, JAVA, AND MALAYSIA 

S. S. KURONG-SAI, 

Lying in the Pearl River at Canton, 

90 miles from sea, 

Friday, November 22, 1907 — 4 p. m. 

Dear Mother, — For one week and one day 
my life has been as follows : Sunrise and coffee 
simultaneously at six-thirty, a bath, then two and 
a half hours of writing, in pyjamas and dressing- 
gown. At nine-thirty, breakfast. Every other 
day I have returned to my room and written 
until tiffin-time; between days I have spent the 
morning doing errands for Am., Lin, or myself, 
engaging steamer passages and giving them up 
again, and then visiting Lin at the hospital. On 
these days I would go up to the Peak to see Am. 
at about eleven, and tiffin at the Peak Hotel. 
My afternoons have been spent every one with 
Am., coming down to the hotel in time for din- 
ner at seven-thirty. In the evening I would 
walk for half an hour, read for an hour, and then 
to bed. Twice dropped into a Chinese theatre, 
and once to an amateur dramatic event, at which 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 287 

I butted into the midst of Hong Kong decollete- 
gown-and-boiled-shirt society, arrayed, myself, 
in modest Brooks Bros.' flannels. In attending 
said dramatic event I sought diversion, but v^as 
so successful in not finding it that I left after Act 
One ! Had I been fortunate enough to possess a 
teacup acquaintance with the lady who played 
Diana Vernon and sang Scotch songs ever and 
anon with a throaty warble, or a tennis friend- 
ship with the portly person who impersonated 
the hero, and filled the tide role, Rob Roy, by 
concealing himself behind a bushy pair of red 
whiskers, — then I might have stayed for Act 
Two, and possibly, who knows in this age of 
marvels, for Act Three. But I could not even 
claim a bow and smile from one of the long- 
necked English matrons who, attired with care 
in short skirts, shirt waists, Scotch plaids and 
bonnets, played the Highland Lassie chorus 
among painted rocks to the wild notes of the 
pibroch, played in a different key from the piano 
accompaniment; so I went home to bed. 

I have grown to feel very well acquainted with 
the view from the Peak. I have seen it on gray, 
cloudy days, when the harbor is like a sheet of 
polished steel dotted with black toy steamers. I 
have seen it in blazing sunshine, when the eye 



288 LETTERS OF 

is dazzled with a sapphire sea unrolled below 
agate rocks, emerald hills, and a pale turquoise 
canopy over all. I have seen it through mists 
and rain, and blotted out in clouds, and after 
dark, with the whole black basin full of starry 
lights on the shipping and in the town, till it 
seemed as though the men below were trying 
to make a copy of the starry basin inverted 
over all. 

I have made a second Philippine acquaint- 
ance, and he shares my table, so dinner is spent 
in torturing him with questions. My evening 
ramble is always interesting, for the streets are 
full of Chinese strolling about, holding hands like 
children. Here and there a Sikh policeman 
stands like a gaudily-trimmed statue, and maybe 
an Indian gentleman in frock coat and turban 
passes with his servant close behind. There are 
no horses on the streets, only rickshaws and 
sedan-chairs. A cricket match is being played 
this week with Shanghai, and one night they had 
an illumination at the athletic field, which I saw 
from afar. There you have my story. 

Yesterday Am. was again normal, and re- 
mained so for ten hours. Thinking the time 
was ripe for a little vacation, I caught the 9 p. M. 
steamer for Canton, and woke up here this morn- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 289 

ing amid a babel and riot of tongues, which my 
travelled wisdom told me was only the throng of 
sampan-owners about the ship, bidding for trade. 
I landed, and being provided for, by telegraph, 
by a friend I have made in Cook's office, I set 
out at once with chairs and guide to see the 
sights. 

The city and its streets show no points of dif- 
ference from Foochow; narrow, stone-paved, 
slippery with filth and wet, crowded with two 
opposing streams of sedans and half-nude coolies, 
roofed with mat-awnings and a forest of heavy 
gold signs, venders shrieking their wares, chair- 
boys shouting for room, and children whining 
" Kumshaw,'' with hands stretched out for cop- 
pers. Two months ago I should have been filled 
with fear and a little disgust, but, as at Foochow, 
I enjoyed it all, and saw in the seething, yelling 
crowd only a section of the greatest hive of this 
nation of bees; this calm, peaceful-minded race, 
in spite of appearances; the most numerous, 
hardest-working, easiest-governed race on earth. 

We saw the water-clock, which tells time by 
the trickling of water into four successive jars, 
one of which is fitted with float and scale to tell 
the hour; we saw the Temple of Six Hundred 
Genii, one of whom is a fat Buddha, crowned 



290 LETTERS OF 

with an Italian beaver hat, said to be an image 
of Marco Polo; we saw the Confucian Temple 
and the Temple of Ancestral Tablets, the City 
of the Dead, and the Flowery Pagoda; hardly one 
of these sights younger than six hundred years. 
We tiffined at the Five-Story Pagoda, rode 
along the great crenellated wall, and entered the 
executive ground, an alley full of drying pottery, 
earthen jugs containing murderers' heads, wooden 
crosses for the "slicing" penalty by which a man 
is doomed to be cut up alive, and with huge 
brown blood-stains on its pavement; we han- 
dled the executioner's sword and saw him slice 
with it an imaginary head. At the advice of Dr. 
Swan, head of the Medical College, whom I had 
met on the boat, I spent most time seeing the in- 
dustries for which Canton is famous. The king- 
fisher feather-workers, the brocade-weavers, the 
ivory-carvers, the jade-cutters, the embroiderers, 
the rice-paper painters, and the lacquer-work- 
ers all showed us how they make their works of 
art, which the rest of the world cannot duplicate, 
but can only admire. 

The Canton shops are more showy than any 
others in China, as indeed they should be in a 
city almost the size of New York proper. All of 
the different dealers group their shops according 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 291 

to the trade, and so you have Jade Stone Street 
and Silk Alley, and pass rows of stores of feather 
fans, or a district in which there are only fancy 
caps, or an avenue of silver filigree. All the 
shops are of brick with open fronts. 

Some stores are full of great coffins shaped like 
Noah's Ark. Some have varnished ducks, bloated 
bladders, entrails, pigs'-heads, and bloody livers 
in tempting array. The fish-dealers keep their 
ware alive in tubs, into which falls a spray of 
water; or else it is dried and twisted out of all 
shape and countenance. Anon you see a man 
wending homewards with a raw sheep's heart 
tied in the middle with a string. 

As I sit writing on the top deck, waiting for the 
boat to sail, the whole river-life is surging close 
around and just beneath. Canton's floating pop- 
ulation is famous, but much as you expect it, the 
swarm of sampans takes you by surprise. Ugly, 
shapeless craft they are, with arched mat-roofs, 
and a whole family on board : mother and sister 
to do the work, father to drum up trade on shore, 
little brother to stand in the bow with a big pole 
and shout insulting remarks to other sampan- 
owners who happen to collide with his boat, the 
baby tied to the thwarts by one foot, and the 
older babies with big lumps of wood tied to their 



292 LETTERS OF 

necks as life-preservers. If a girl baby falls over- 
board, they don't bother to pull her out. It is 
very unsafe to take a sampan after dark, without 
the advice of a policeman, for, although your 
ship is not two hundred yards from shore, you 
may never reach her. The inhabitants of this 
whole river, even here alongside the quays of 
Canton, are pirates bred and born, and so late as 
yesterday the city of Canton received from the 
Pekin Government 2,000,000 taels to extermi- 
nate the pirate leaders, urged to this tardy move 
by the threat from the British that, if the Chinese 
didn't make the river safe, they would seize and 
purge it themselves. 

Canton is one of the great cities of the world, 
and to the tourist who sees only the English 
cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong, it is a ver- 
itable plunge into the wilderness; it is a real 
untouched Chinese city, but I did not enjoy it 
so much as Foochow. Here at Canton you are 
taken by guides over the exact route that five to 
fifty tourists travel every day in the year. You 
visit shops whose show-rooms are not empty of 
foreigners for more than twenty hours at a 
stretch, and you see temples that have been de- 
scribed in every book of round-the-world travel 
that has ever been written. This sort of thing is 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 293 

all too cut and dried ; you can read about it, and 
learn almost as much as by coming here to see 
it; there is none of the contact of the people, 
that we have been so fortunate in having; and 
there is no new point of view or broadening of 
sympathies in it, any more than there is in walk- 
ing through the streets of the Midway. Pure 
sight-seeing it is, which is nothing but selfish 
pleasure, for it does not help you to help others, 
and after a few hours it ceases to please. I get 
very tired of looking at things, and then rushing 
a mile further to look at something else for five 
minutes, unless the sight-seeing be mixed with 
the beauties of nature and the always fresh plea- 
sures of good exercise. The one thing that I 
never tire of, and which is making this trip an 
era in my life, is the acquaintance with new and 
strange races of people, the entering into their 
points of view, and feeling the living force of their 
thoughts and affections. Temples and shops 
and pagodas, seen in company with a native 
friend whom you like and understand, become 
transformed. In connection with him they be- 
come symbols, not mere queer-shaped buildings. 
I could live weeks in a native village of one hun- 
dred souls and never tire, but a great guide-book 
city like this would weary me in three days. I 



294 LETTERS OF 

have probably only succeeded in making myself 
incoherent, but I hope you grasp my point. 

The truth is that, except for one day at Shang- 
hai and a short time at Yokohama, Canton and 
Hong Kong are the only points at which we have 
touched the trail of the Cook sheep, and until we 
struck it here, I never realized how blissfully far 
off we had been able to keep from it, both men- 
tally and geographically. I now realize more 
than ever what a success the trip has been so far, 
furnishing all the elements we expected it to, in 
quantities far beyond our hopes. I am rather 
proud of the serious attitude towards it that we 
have been able to keep, never once making the 
mistake of thinking that we were travelling for 
amusement, although we feel every moment that 
it is the pleasantest thing we could be doing. 
This reflection is prompted by having seen, again 
at Hong Kong, some of the most usual class of 
young men travellers, who never go to any place 
where there is not " something to do at night," 
and who search Baedeker for clubs and theatres 
in picking out their itinerary. 

If things go as well as I expect they will, we 
shall be able to leave on the French Mail, Tues- 
day next, and shall have a day at Saigon on the 
way to Singapore. My present determination is 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 295 

not to rush. I find that to complete the rest of our 
itineraiy in anything like the proper time, we 
must use speed like to that of the new subway 
electric engines, and that our letters of credit 
would dwindle like snow in July; so with as 
much wisdom as I can command, and with Spar- 
tan-like fortitude and heedlessness of pangs of 
regret, I am going to stay in places which seem 
most full of meat, long enough to gain some accu- 
rate, worth-while knowledge, and cut the merely 
curious, side-show sights with ruthless hand. I 
shall take care, however, that the places where 
I stay will be pleasant, healthy, and cheap. 

I suppose this is the last time I shall be in these 
waters for a long period, but some day I want to 
bring you all to the Orient, and see mother bob- 
bing up and down in a sedan and buying all the 
embroidery in sight, father on a camel, and my 
'andsome sisters ogling a pair of head-hunters 
for their beads. 

Here is another trip we must forego, outlined 
by Dr. Swan, a twenty-five years' resident. Six- 
teen days up the North River, to a country where 
there are two million aborigines as different 
from the Chinese as you or I, living among 
beautiful, fertile hills; we should go by special 
permission of the Chinese Government. 



296 LETTERS OF 

If I ever find I can't make a living at home, I 
can come out here; they need men more than 
anything else in this country. I should n't half 
mind teaching in a mission college, or enter- 
ing the consular service. At every college mis- 
sion we visit they ask us why we don't stay a 
year and help them out, to the tune of board 
and lodging. I 'd do it, if it was n't for law 
school. 

I think my next letter will reach you before 
Christmas, so will not harp on that subject. 
Love and lots of it for all, 

Gilbert. 

Hong Kong, November 25, 1907. 

Dear Father, — I am sending to-day to your 
care a small Christmas packet by parcel-post. 
I find it impossible to pay the duty here, so you 
will have it to pay there, I suppose, but it will be 
trifling. 

For you, Pater famtlias, there is a letter- 
holder of Foochow lacquer. This lacquer is all 
of the same color, is made nowhere else in China, 
and is esteemed the best lacquer in the Celestial 
Kingdom. They say that you can soak it in boil- 
ing water without the least injury, but there is 
really no use putting it to the test. Don't let the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 297 

decoration give you a nightmare, for I assure you 
the creature thereon depicted is harmless as a 
kitten. 

For mother there is a lunch-cloth and a dozen 
doilies. The material is grass-cloth made in Can- 
ton, and tough as iron ; it is said to acquire beauty 
and brilliance after frequent washing. I bought 
it in Swatow, in which place the drawn-work is 
made; and ladies here tell me that it is superior 
to the Canton work. 

For , , and there is a Christmas 

card apiece. These cards are painted on rice- 
paper which is imported from Formosa. It is 
really not made of rice, but of peach-tree wood, 
and is very tough. The pictures are painted by 
hand, and I bought them at Canton at the work- 
shop itself, where I saw the artists in action. 
One man makes the drawing, another colors the 
dresses, and a third paints in the face. They are 
really Chinese New Year's cards, but the verses 
have been added above to please the foreign 
devils. 

For Helen there is a pair of embroidered 
sleeves, which she may be able to use in some 
way to adorn her wardrobe. They are made for 
Chinese Mandarins, but some ladies here use 
them as cuffs or collars or lapels to opera-cloaks; 



298 LETTERS OF 

I hope they will please her. Notice the scenes of 
Chinese life that are depicted on them. There 
is also a little brooch. This brooch is made 
of pure silver covered with gold-leaf, and the 
blue portion is entirely made of — you could 
never guess — kingfisher feathers I The piece of 
wing enclosed is from the same bird. There is 
only one shop in China where this work is done, 
and I saw the process. The feathers are chipped 
very fine, and applied to the jewelry by a pointed 
brush first dipped in a cement-like gum. Only 
young men are employed in this art, as it soon 
ruins the eyes ; and beautiful brooches, pendants, 
and jewel-settings are turned out. 

For Pamela is a box of Japanese bean candy 
made at Nikko. It was given me by my boy Mino 
and his father and mother, along with three 
or four more boxes, and he asked me to send it 
to my sister, of whom he saw a snapshot that I 
had. It is famous candy throughout Japan; be 
sure to taste it even if the ants have reached it 
during the voyage ; don't save it, but eat it. There 
is also a silver chain. The stones on the chain 
are Amoy cats'-eyes, and I bought them loose 
at that place ; the carved stones are apricot pits, 
and are done by hand ; I also bought them loose 
at the same place. Look at the carving with a 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 299 

magnifying-glass, and then realize that these 
clever people carve them without microscopes, 
v^ith simple tools, in their ow^n homes. I had 
them mounted and put on the chain here at 
Hong Kong. 

I have also almost a hundred very beautiful 
gray cats'-eyes, with green and purple lights in 
them, but could not get them pierced in time to 
send home, as the work is very delicate. I shall 
save them for Mr. G 's operations. 

It has been great sport for me to buy these 
things, bargaining and cutting prices half a day 
over an article. I should n't be surprised if I had 
several more baubles and trinkets tucked away 
in my luggage, but I want to see you all look 
them over and hear your comments on them 
myself, so I won't give them to you until I come 
home, and then only if you write me lots of nice 

letters, and tell me just what Aunt L and 

the rest think of Chinese workmanship. 

We have again been in luck, and have secured 
passage on a fine Dutch trader bound for Ba- 
tavia, Java. The boats of this line are as com- 
fortable and well appointed as any boats in the 
East; the officers are a fine set of Dutchmen, who 
are compelled to learn English. 

We leave to-morrow (Tuesday, November 



300 LETTERS OF 

26th) at three P. M., and land in eight days, 
touching only at one island (between Borneo and 
Java), whose name I have never before heard, 
— Billiton, it is called. If you care to read about 
Java, and don't mind a lot of foolish gush, get 
Mrs. Scidmore's "Java, the Garden of the 
East," out of the library. Don't buy it, for I 
have a copy. 

You see the voyage will be as long as or longer 
than from New York to London, and letters from 
me will have to go up by Singapore and prob- 
ably via Suez, so it may be two weeks before 
you hear from me again, although be sure I shall 
despatch a letter at the first mail-box we strike 
after leaving Hong Kong. If you want a real 
book on Java, get Professor Qive Day's "The 
Dutch in Java." It is the authority, although 
Clive Day has never been nearer Java than New 
Haven, where I had him one year in Economics. 
That book I do not own, so it would be worth 
buying if you are interested. 

I expect to learn a great deal in Java, for it 
is the model colony of the world, and the 
Dutch have made a tremendous success for them- 
selves, and brought comfort and peace to the 
natives. 

I have been watching Am. shop this afternoon, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 301 

for he left the hospital for good yesterday (Lin 
has gone back to Pekin). The sidewalks here 
are all under deep arcades, and the shops full of 
priceless treasures of ivory, silver, gold, jade, 
silks, and rare old hawthorn vases, or blue and 
red porcelains and enamels. Am. was looking 
for an amber snufF-bottle with a jade-stopper, 
which would be within reach of his letter of 
credit, and we fingered and examined a king's 
ransom in our search. No sooner would we 
leave one shop than the scent of sandalwood and 
cinnamon and a dozen other spices would draw 
us into the dark, cool, inner rooms of the shop 
next door, to wander among old chests of spiced 
wood and brass-bround incense-coffers, while 
the gentle yellow owner busied his delicate long 
fingers in unwrapping some treasure, — a slim 
agate vase with loose ring-handles, a pale ruby- 
colored affair, translucent as alabaster, or an 
amber box with a heavily carved cover, through 
which you could see the owner's hand beneath 
the bottom of the box. A heavy ring of 20-carat 
gold tempted me greatly; it is a snake with ruby 
eyes and tested pure, but I have resisted bravely 
all day and may get on board ship without fall- 
ing. 

We went to church yesterday morning in 



302 LETTERS OF 

frock coats and silk toppers, at St. John's Cathe- 
dral, which lifts its gray towers out of a tangle 
of palms, banyans, and acacias. They sang the 
whole litany and some very good anthems, and 
the whole proceeding made us seem farther from 
home than ever before, because it reminded us 
of home so strongly. 

Fare thee well, and may plum puddings and 
the Heathen's Huylers leave you all free from 
pains and torments. 

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New 
Year. 

Your loving son, Gilbert. 

S. S. TjiBODAS, December 3, 1907. 

Dear Mother, — One week ago to-day. Am. 
and I came on board this steamer and estab- 
lished ourselves luxuriously in a roomy cabin 
with two narrow, four-posted bedsteads, one on 
a side. The boat was supposed to leave at three, 
but it was nearly eight when she finally weighed 
anchor, and so we were able to see Hong Kong 
by night from the water, a sight equal to New 
York by night from the Cortland Street ferry. 
The city is built on a side hill, as is the city of 
Duluth, and across the lamp-starred harbor full 
of shipping, it gleamed like a field of jewels, with 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 303 

a handful of emeralds and diamonds tossed care- 
lessly halfway up the slope. Above, far above, 
the great Peak cut a dark semicircle against the 
stars. 

After we left the harbor, we could see the villa 
lights and road lamps along the outer edge of the 
Peak. It looked a long garland of stars, some 
strange new constellation; and as we drew farther 
and farther south, it lay along the horizon like 
a golden snake, which finally dived beneath the 
waves. 

For four days we drove south with the steady 
northwest monsoon booming at our heels, and 
our smoke streaming straight before us to point 
the course. There was rain and there were high 
waves. But on the fifth day the sun came out, 
the monsoon swept around to the east, following 
the rigid course that it blows for six months at a 
time, and we have ever since been ploughing up 
a sea smooth as plum-skin. 

We passed within twenty miles of Great Na- 
tuna Island, within five of Flock Island ; we saw 
the distant hills of Sarawak or North Borneo, 
and this morning at daybreak we anchored three 
miles off the coast of Billiton, and dumped about 
thirty Chinese coolies into a Billitonese craft that 
came out to get them. 



304 LETTERS OF 

The Equator we crossed yesterday at 9.51 
A. M., without hysterics, gush, or cracking a joke 
on the subject, which performance I humbly 
submit to your approval as a feat worthy of note. 
It is usually quite the thing to tie a string across 
the lenses of a pair of binoculars, and then get 
people to look through them at the Equator. It 
is also en regie, among writers of the Scidmore 
type, to boldly assert that " now we felt we could 
defy old Equator with impunity ! " or to confess 
to a strange feeling of wrong balance and im- 
pending disaster as long as they were below the 
belt, or some such tommy-tiddle. Although we 
have passed the centre of the tropics, and are 
still hanging about in latitude 30 below, we have 
felt no heat. Scidmore mentions noticing the 
heat as she approaches the Equator and Java 
from Singapore (S'pore she calls it, to show how 
well she knows it); "the heat," she says, "that 
makes jelly of the white man's brain and that 
leaves you exhausted by the effort expended in 
peeling a banana." I do not doubt but that we 
shall feel it hot enough in Java in all conscience, 
but as yet we have not dampened our brows with 
perspiration, although I am wearing a New 
Haven cloth suit and long-sleeved undergar- 
ments. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 305 

This boat is of almost three thousand tons 
burthen, and carries three first-class passengers, 
our companion being a Japanese lady taking 
seventeen steerage Japanese to the East Indies 
to dive for pearls; her husband is an Australian, 
in the pearling business. The boat is large, with 
roomy decks, and clean as Holland itself. Our 
crev7 is Chinese, our servant boys Javanese, and 
our officers Dutch. The officers are a fine lot of 
men, especially the captain, and they all speak 
excellent English. 

We spend most of our time on the upper deck, 
where I am now writing. The forward portion is 
covered with a broad awning, and fitted with big 
Dutch easy-chairs and leg-rests and little tables. 
At one side is a long wide chest, full of growing 
chrysanthemums and dwarf pines from Japan. 
A tame Japanese rooster and a magnificent 
golden pheasant walk the deck at will, and peck 
at our shoes while we are reading, and a cage 
of monks'-caps compete for attention with a red 
and blue Macassar parrot. Here we read, write, 
sip lemonade, fruit-juice, and chocolate, or talk 
philosophy, theosophy, or vegetarian diet with 
the captain, who is a keen thinker and a man of 
great natural culture. He loves music as well as 
discussion, and sometimes brings out his zither 



3o6 LETTERS OF 

and sings for us as he plays, or opens his cabin 
window, which commands the upper deck, and 
turns the big horn of his Victor towards us. Then 
we lie back and look at the blazing tropic stars 
and phosphorus-streaked water, and hear Melba 
and Eames and Plan^on and Caruso to our 
heart's content. 




We are now passing from the South China Sea 
into the Java Sea, and are threading an acro- 
batic passage through a tangle of reefs and 
islands. Above is a small reef and the distant 
shore of Billiton, which scene now lies before me 
if I raise my eyes above this paper. The sea be- 
tween me and the reef is wrinkled and streaked 
by the soaring of a school of tiny flying-fish, 
getting out of our boat's way. 

The food we have on this boat is very good, 
and has two distinctly Javanese features which 
we find delicious. The first is using molasses or 
syrup with the oatmeal in place of milk. The 
second is the rice-table (rijst-tafel) at tiffin. The 
first requisite for the rice-table is a large soup- 
plate. This you heap with rice. Then on the rice 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 307 

you put a slice of roast chicken, a bit of pressed 
meat, a cut of mutton, some roast fish, half 
of a hard-boiled egg, a spoonful of cabbage, a 
brussels sprout, a roast banana, some chutney, 
shredded red pepper, cucumbers and mayon- 
naise, powdered cocoanut, Macassar red fish, — 
all this and more you heap on the rice at once, 
then eat it with a spoon. The rice-table in time 
ceases to become a meal and becomes a passion. 
(As I write this, a gentle, barefoot, turbaned Ja- 
vanese is drawing near me with an humbly bent 
back, a pleasant smile, and a tall glass of cool red 
currant juice. . . . M-m-m — that was a good 
drink!) 

The truth is, mother mine, that we have fin- 
ished, completed, and put behind us the first 
stage of our trip about the world. For over four 
months we have been studying the great Mon- 
goloid races ; people of the temperate zone and a 
latitude about the same as ours. People who are 
destined by nature, as far as we can judge from 
historical experience, to rule themselves, and be 
a great power in the world. We are now leaving 
this section of the world, the Yellow Hell as 
Pierre Loti so unjustly calls it, and are entering 
the part of the world where the dark Aryans live; 
the Malays and the Hindus; the great colonial 



3o8 LETTERS OF 

division of the world, a section where the people 
are all under white rule and will be for years, 
maybe centuries, to come. The change between 
these two parts of the world is as great as the 
change from America to the far East, and, if you 
look beneath the surface, far greater. 

Your loving son, Gilbert. 

S. S. TjiBODAS, Java Sea, 
December 3, 1907. 

Dear Father, — You will see from the 
superscription, and from mother's letter, that 
we have left the Far East for Malaysia and the 
Archipelago, Netherlands, and India, without 
visiting the Philippines. The question of our 
visit to those islands has been, as I mentioned 
before, the constant theme of our thoughts and 
conversation for weeks and weeks. We felt so 

strongly that you and Mr. M would be 

intensely disappointed to see us omit them, that 
we became almost morbid on the subject, before 
it was partially decided for us by Am.'s illness. 

We were both fully convinced that it was not 
best, but it seemed almost as if the only way to 
prove our point was to go and then say, " I told 
you so," which would hardly be wisdom. We 
are writing to several prominent men in Manila, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 309 

enclosing letters of introduction to them, asking 
for their opinions on certain Philippine ques- 
tions, and information concerning the late devel- 
opments in the Philippine politics. Our Manila 
acquaintance at the Hong Kong Hotel has also 
promised to mail us the latest publications of 
the Merchants' Association when he returns to 
the islands. 

Because we have omitted this trip from our 
itinerary, do not think that we are deficient in in- 
terest in the future of the islands and of America 
as a colonizing power. Far from it; that is the 
question which now interests me more than any 
public question has ever interested me, and it is 
precisely to gain useful information and light on 
that question, that I am going to Java instead of 
the Philippines. 

I believe that a thorough knowledge of the 
methods employed in the most successful colo- 
nies in the world will help more to an intelligent 
constructive opinion in regard to the Philip- 
pines, than would a superficial or even an inti- 
mate knowledge of the defects in our Philippine 
methods. 

The English at Singapore and in the Federated 
Malay States have had a great success with one 
method of government. The Dutch in Java have 



310 LETTERS OF 

been brilliantly successful on an entirely different 
method. Now the United States, in a country 
peopled by men of the same race as in Java and 
the Malay States, is trying an experiment on a 
third line, the basis for which is only hope, not 
experience. 

My idea is to study the successful colonies, 
find why they failed at first, and latterly suc- 
ceeded ; learn what difficulties they had and how 
they overcame them; understand the skeleton 
details of their administration, and, most im- 
portant of all, the underlying principles on which 
they are governed. I have a very good book on 
the subject written by an Englishman who spent 
two years studying these colonies for the Chicago 
University, and who devotes almost half the work 
to the Philippine problem in connection with 
other colonies, and I shall get other books to aid 
and direct personal observation. When I get 
through, I shall have a well-founded knowledge 
of colonial problems and their solutions, with 
personal observation of the present results of a 
century's application, or, in some cases, almost 
three centuries' development. 

Now, suppose I ever entered the Philippine 
service, or had a voice in deciding any Philippine 
problem. My two weeks or a month's visit (had 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 311 

I made one) would be rendered useless to me 
after two weeks or a month's residence or inves- 
tigation. I should catch up and surpass myself, 
and would be no better off than if I had never 
gone there; but in the same case, see of what 
value my colonial knowledge would be. It would 
form a valuable precedent for many difficulties, 
and would enable me to look into the future 
results of proposed measures; and it would be 
knowledge that I could not stop to collect at any 
period after I had started hard work. We have 
seen Japan's methods in Formosa, and now 
England and Holland are going to teach us what 
they know. 

I firmly believe now, that it is the fate of tropic 
races to be ruled by whites, or at least by people 
from the temperate zones (or Japanese), and I 
firmly believe it is the duty of our great nations 
to possess colonies and to see that they are given 
the best possible government; and this should 
be done by our great nations without thought of 
personal profit, but for the benefit of the com- 
mercial world and the tropic races themselves. 
I am convinced that in no other way can the 
resources of the tropics be developed, and the 
mass of inhabitants protected from slavery and 
oppression. In many cases, no doubt, it will be 



312 LETTERS OF 

found that all details of government may be left 
to the natives, but there must be a white protect- 
ing power for reference and final authority. The 
tropical people possess the intellect for self-gov- 
ernment, but not the character; that, we must 
supply for a long time, at least. I wish I could 
swing back from India, through French Indo- 
China, where they are beginning to mend their 
hitherto slovenly ways, and spend, say. May and 
June in the Philippines on the way home via 
Honololu ; but I think it will be better to keep 
on around the globe. By that time I shall hav 
earned a vacation on horseback in Persia or in 
Egypt, too, for I am doing more brain-work now 
than ever I did in Senior year. 

Behold the list of books I have consumed in 
their variety during the last fortnight, besides all 
I have seen, and all the reams I have written to 
you about Formosa, Hong Kong, and this boat, 
and long letters to many friends ; and now ban- 
ish forever the picture of my idling away a year 
in pampered ease! 
"Westward Ho!" Kingsley. 
"Among the Immortals," Marion Crawford 

(philosophy). 
"The Food of the Gods," Wells. 
"A Cruise through Eastern Seas," A. G. Plate. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 313 

"Java, the Garden of the East/' Scldmore. 
"Nederlandische India," J. F. Van Bremmelen 

and G. B. Hoogor. 
"The Tracer of Lost Persons," Chambers. 
"Alice in Wonderland," Carroll. 
"Through the Looking-Glass," Carroll. 
"The Queen's Quair," Maurice Hewlett. 
"The Far Eastern Tropics, or Studies in the 

Administration of Tropical Dependencies," 

Alleyne Ireland. 
"The Real Malay," Sir Frank Swettenham 

(Governor of Straits Settlements). 
And I am now reading "The Life of Toyo- 
tomi Hideyoshi," Walter Deming. In addition I 
have written up my diary in concise form for 
two omitted months. 

My letters home are for the most part merely 
describing the frills and decorations of the trip, 
with now and then some little of the anthropo- 
logical and ethnological facts that interest me so 
intensely, as for instance about the Formosa sav- 
ages. To write fully of the opinions and facts and 
points of view that are thrust upon us would only 
plunge you in a whirl of chaotic information 
without perspective, for it takes a long time to set- 
tle the mass into convictions, like the conviction 
about colonies that I have admitted to you above. 



314 LETTERS OF 

It strikes me that America has two great prob- 
lems to solve in the next half-century, which are 
of as much importance to the world as they are 
to herself, and which rank together as the third 
great movement of the Christian Era. The first 
being the Renaissance in every department of 
life, that the Middle Ages saw; the second being 
the humanitarian movement of the eighteenth 
century, which resulted in the French Revolution, 
the American Revolution, and the freedom of 
slaves all over the world ; and this last era split- 
ting into the two questions of Socialism : the rela- 
tion of labor to capital, and Eastern policy, 
which will finally settle the fate of over two 
thirds of the world's population. 

This Eastern-policy problem splits into: (i) 
the question of the duty or right of great civilized 
nations to protect and control tropical countries, 
which I wrote of above ; and (2) the question of 
our treatment of and relation to the self-govern- 
ing Mongoloid races of Northeastern Asia. In 
this connection, notice the article I enclose on 
American trade in China. I wish, by the way, 
that I had kept a scrap-book of the excellent 
newspaper articles out here on the subject of 
Eastern policy, but it is too late now. 

We are, as you know, over a month behind 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 315 

schedule time, and would be two months behind 
if we had not omitted Cochin China and the 
Philippines. You may think that we have spent 
too much time in Japan and China, but I assure 
you it was all too little for the important know- 
ledge to be gained, and the important issues at 
stake. One month longer in Japan and two 
months more in China would have tripled the 
value of our visits to those places, and if I should 
ever find myself in a position to do it, I should 
like to spend a whole year in Japan, China, 
Korea, and Manchuria, for there are tremen- 
dous interests for our country involved in an 
intimate touch with that portion of the world. 

Write me what you think on these topics. 
From now on, to at least the middle of Febru- 
ary, and possibly later, you had better write me 
at Bombay. As soon as we meet Scurve and 
Purdy, and perfect our Persian plans, or give 
them up, I will advise you further. 

As to our immediate plans, we are going to 
stay in Batavia for several days to talk with the 
men there (we have a consul), and plan our 
campaign with their help. After getting the 
opinions of men in the capital on political and 
administrative matters, we want to go into the 
interior to some mountain village, among the 



3i6 LETTERS OF 

plantations of the Preanzer regency in Central 
Java, and make that our headquarters from 
which we can quietly observe the results of the 
Dutch system, the nature of the people and their 
customs, and also make an excursion to Djok- 
jokarta, a semi-independent native state with a 
Dutch resident, and the neighboring Buddhist 
ruin of Barabudur, the mightiest ruin in the 
world, with the possible exception of the Angkor 
Vhat in Cambodia, which we had to give up. If 
we are assured that it is well worth while, we may 
go to Surabaya and the Tengger Mountains of 
the southern end ; but we hope to spend most of 
our short time stationary in the country, with 
good books of reference to guide us. 

In British India, which looms up more and 
more wonderful and interesting as we approach 
it, we shall be more concerned with religion and 
the people themselves, for they are a mine of 
gold to any one who knows anything about the 
races of the world, and their relation to history 
and to each other. 

Before starting out, I thought that this year 
would be in some degree a year of self-indul- 
gence, but it is a year of almost daily self-denial, 
more severe than the self-denial of giving up the 
whole trip would have been before starting; for 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 317 

we have not visited a single place where we have 
not had to forego some more pleasant and in- 
structive trip or expedition beyond. Here in 
Java the temptation is a cruise through the 
Moluccas, Bali, Laubock, Celebes, Borneo, 
Ambonia, New Guinea, — the most beautiful 
islands in the world, where we could see the 
Dutch colonizing work at every stage it has ever 
passed through; but it would take a month, and 
in four months it will be April first, and we shall 
have to begin to move northward towards Eu- 
rope; and before us still lie India, Burmah, and 
Ceylon, as well as Netherlands India and the 
Straits Settlements. We shall reach Colombo 
straight from Singapore, and as near the first 
of January as we can get there. We want to 
try, however, to spend Christmas on shore in 
pleasant surroundings. I hope this letter has n't 
tired you with its long explanations. 
Love to all. 

Your son, Gilbert. 

P. S. As additional weight to my remarks I 
should like to quote some concluding words of 
Mr. Ireland's book, which I had not read when 
I wrote the above. 

He says he found officials in the Philippines a 



3i8 LETTERS OF 

fine, earnest set of men, but with a broad igno- 
rance of the established facts in relation to tropi- 
cal administration, and an absence of informa- 
tion of the neighboring colonies, which could 
scarcely fail to impair most seriously the useful- 
ness of the most conscientious and hardest- 
working official. To give a single example : — 

" I was shown in the Philippines some of the 
most wretched roads I have seen in fifteen years 
of colonial travel, and was asked with pride 
whether the English had ever done anything like 
that for the benefit of their colonial subjects; 
and when I replied that you could travel one 
thousand miles in an automobile in the Federated 
Malay States, on roads as good as the Massachu- 
setts state roads, my statement was met with the 
last degree of surprise. Had any nation except 
the United States ever governed a colony with 
any other object than deriving a revenue from 
it ? And so on, through the entire range of co- 
lonial administration! 

"If, instead of going straight from San Fran- 
cisco to Manila, the higher officials were ordered 
by way of Suez, taking a trip through Egypt, 
Ceylon, and the Malay Peninsula by the way, 
they would arrive in the Philippines better 
equipped for useful work than they are now, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 319 

even after some years' residence in the islands. 
Nearly all the faults in Philippine administra- 
tion are due to one of two causes — either the 
pernicious influence of American home politics 
on Philippine legislation, or the narrow vision of 
the officials." 

You see I am supported by an authority, al- 
though I did n't know it. 

Love, Gilbert. 

Batavia, Java, December 6, 1907. 
My dear Father, — Our captain is still in 
port, and is with us constantly. He has presented 
us to many of his friends here, and they have put 
us up at both the Civil and Military Clubs. We 
have also seen our Consul several times, and he 
presented us to some English tea-men, who are 
dining with us to-night, by the way. The hotel 
has also given us five acquaintances : four young 
Dutch noblemen of our own age, and one Ameri- 
can bachelor of sixty-four years, who has been 
around the world three times and is a real trav- 
eller, not a tourist. The Dutch boys I mention 
are young officers in the navy, and are stationed 
here for three years, their ship being now at this 
port. They speak English beautifully (one of 
them says his family lives in London all winter), 



320 LETTERS OF 

and we have had several meals with them and 
some long talks in the evenings. 

The American, Mr. C , has travelled for 

eighteen years, and is a crank, or rather a special- 
ist, on archaeology and classic history. He gets 
all excited over it and pounds the table. 

"Did Pompey ever cross that pass through 
the Caucasus ? Did Alexander ? Did Mithri- 
dates.f* No, sir; not one, sir, by God, sir!" 

Then he leans back and chuckles until he 
shakes all over. 

" Pompey ! — Mithridates ! " he mumbles scorn- 
fully between chuckles; "not one of 'em, no, 
sir!" 

He is going to leave Bombay about March ist, 
going up the Persian Gulf and Euphrates to see 
the ruins lately unearthed at Babylon. He is then 
going to return to Bushire, taking our outlined 
Persian trip, continuing over into Turkestan, 
and reaching Europe in September. 

I have thought it well to add another sample 

of Mr. C- 's characteristic remarks. 

"A liberal education, sir, is directed energy, 
but culture — bah ! culture is refined lassitude ! 
Cultuah, indeed; ha-ha! refined lassitude, sir!" 
He says that in Constantinople, at the mu- 
seum, is a great marble coffer, beautifully carved, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 321 

that IS authoritatively supposed to be the tomb 
of Alexander, or rather his sarcophagus. "It is 
not usual, sir,'' says he, "that I long to revisit 
places I have seen; there is always so much still 
to draw one on ; but that beautiful piece of stone, 
sir, with all its associations, " — here he would 
shake his head, and then continue with emo- 
tion, — "I have been there twice to see it, and I 
feel I must stand beside it once more before I 
die. Yes, sir, once more, and that shall be this 
autumn ! " 

He says we have planned too short a time for 
Persia, and advises us to give up the trip, going 
instead to Babylon with him, then continuing 
our trip up river to Nineveh, and across by cara- 
van to Aleppo; he says this is a much quicker 
route to the Mediterranean. He has been to 
Babylon and Bagdad before, and it would be a 
treat to travel with him. He left last night for 
Burmah, but we shall see him later at Bombay. 

He, C , was part way up the Yangtze 

shortly after our friends had entered the Gorges 
in their house-boat, en route for India, and told us 
that he had heard some report of a disaster to 
them because of high water; he said that Chi- 
nese bodies were floating down the river then, at 
the rate of about twelve every three days. You 



322 LETTERS OF 

may imagine our joy at receiving a letter to-day 
from Purdy. The letter was posted at Chunk- 
ing on the Yangtze, after they had overcome 
every peril, and had nothing before them, except 
tv70 thousand miles in sedan-chairs, on foot, or 
on donkeys. They w^ere both well, and expect 
to reach Colombo the first week in January; so 
you see reunion is imminent. Purdy adds that 
Herve has grown a huge beard and looks very 
fierce, but is not quite satisfied, for below a cer- 
tain line on his face the beard is all black, while 
above that line it is bright red. 

From the captain and his friends we have re- 
ceived our club-introductions; one of them has 
stored our luggage in his warehouse, another 
drove us about the city, and with all we have 
had pleasant and instructive chats, for all the 
Dutch talk English You may be interested to 
learn that not only has Germany stolen the 
Chinese trade from England and ousted Eng- 
lish merchants from the interior of English col- 
onies, but even here in Java, most conservative 
of all countries, they are the masters of the ex- 
port trade. All of the planters are Dutch and all 
of the capitalists Chinese, but the big exporters 
(excluding English tea) are German. 

Our Consul has been very kind. Mr. T , 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 323 

the English tea-man, has made arrangements for 
us to visit the greatest plantation in Java, and 

so we are to be Baron H 's guests at the 

most ideal place in this ideal country, ten miles 
from the nearest semblance of a neighbor. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 

BuiTENZORG, December 8, 1907. 

Dear Mother, — We awoke on Wednesday 
alongside the wharf at Tandjong Priok, Bata- 
via's harbor, and about twenty minutes by train 
brought us to the capital. 

Batavia has had two names conferred upon 
her by the English; first they called her, "Queen 
of the East," and secondly, "Grave of the 
Dutch." The last name was well earned by a 
few years of ravaging plagues, but she has now 
outgrown the scandal, and he must be a sour 
traveller who will dispute her title to the regal 
honors she claims. 

After the years of sickness which transpired 
as a natural consequence of the fact that Old 
Batavia was huddled together in the midst of a 
swamp, a new city was built on higher ground. 
All Europeans evacuated the lower town and 
moved in a body to Weltevreden, as it is called ; 
so now Batavia has two distinct quarters. 



324 LETTERS OF 

The old city is a replica of the seventeenth 
century Dutch Town — solid white buildings, 
mason-work, canals, and Holland roofs; it is 
used only for business purposes, and contains all 
the banks, important offices, and government 
buildings, but no European would think of 
sleeping there. 

The new town, which is reached easily by a 
steam train or a short drive along a fine broad 
road bordered with native shops and houses, is 
one huge park. Its streets are broad, white, and 
hard, and in the centre of the main roads are 
roomy canals. Along the roadside and canal- 
edges are rows of trees, mountains of cool green 
shade, any one of which would be a curiosity by 
itself in a less luxuriant land. The houses are 
white and low, open on all sides, and often one 
can look through marble porticoes and cool, dark 
rooms to the gardens behind. The larger houses 
are like palaces, and the smallest are a tempt- 
ing glorification of love in a cottage. Without 
exception they are set far back from the road, 
under spreading trees, and the riotous foliage 
that covers lawns and gardens is like a botanist's 
dream. Even the stores are housed in white, low 
buildings, with porches and easy chairs, and 
each shop has a front lawn and driveway, some- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 325 

times as roomy as grandfather's. The result of 
all this space and greenery is that you do not 
fancy yourself in a city, but rather driving past 
a sociable group of charming country houses. 

Everywhere you see evidences of the remark- 
able success with which the Dutchman has ac- 
commodated himself to the tropics, and espe- 
cially is it noticeable in the clubs and hotels. 
Batavia has two clubs, the Concordia, a civil 
club, and the Harmonie, a military society. 
Both have fine structures, with high-ceiled rooms 
and marble floors, and are open on all sides, 
through deep, pillared terraces, to large gardens. 
At the Concordia, on Wednesday night, we sat 
under a great waringen tree for three hours, 
and listened to the best military band of the 
East, while all about us the steady citizens and 
bemedalled officers sat quietly at tables with 
their wives, and the children chased one another 
between the slippery palm-trunks. I like the 
Teutonic habit of admitting the whole family 
to their clubs and cafes. The military is very 
prominent here, and it is not a toy army, either, 
for there is always fighting on Celebes, or Bali, or 
in Achin over on Sumatra. 

On each side of the new town is a roomy open 
plain, — Waterloo- Plein at the left as you enter 



326 LETTERS OF 

the town, and Koenigs-Plein at the right. On one 
are the Concordia and the Government House, 
on the other are the Governor's town palace and 
the Museum, full of native curiosities and the 
gold crowns and krisses of the native rulers, 
treasures crested and overloaded with big uncut 
jewels in Oriental lavishness. 

The Hotel des Indes is a fair type of the style 
you meet with all over the island, except that it is 
the most comfortable of all. Usually, all that you 
care to know about a hotel is whether it is good 
or bad, but the hotels of Netherlands India are 
unlike those of any other land on earth ; they are 
as distinctive as the Japanese inns. 

The Hotel des Indes covers as much ground 
as an ordinary university in the States, and 
within its sacred precincts one finds a happy 
wedding of Science and Art that would do credit 
to any university; the science of right living in 
the tropics, and the art of comfort. It is a long 
stroll from the gate to the low marble steps, and 
the green lawn is dotted with trees, among them 
two tremendous banyans, or a kind of banyan, 
each a whole forest in itself; the circle of dense 
shade they cast would measure a hundred paces 
in diameter. The office, the reading-room, the 
dining-room, and a marble out-of-doors sitting- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 327 

room occupy the main building, and the bed- 
rooms are in a series of one-story wings that 
radiate to the sides and back, making squares 
and rectangles, connected by tiled loggias. The 
rooms are stone-floored, white-walled, and lofty, 
and the only hangings are the necessary mos- 
quito-netting on the bed ; you sleep without cov- 
erlet, and the whole interior gives and maintains 
two impressions, clean and cool. On this tiled 
porch that runs the length of each wing, just out- 
side each room-door is a table, a rocker, and an 
easy-chair. Here the guests take morning coffee 
and afternoon tea in sociable proximity; the men 
in pyjamas, and the ladies in sarong and kabayas 
on each occasion. 

This unconventional costume has called forth 
some comment among visitors of the type that 
carries all its home prejudices to Ashantee land, 
but it has nothing shocking about it, except that 
it is unusual in colder climes, and, most shocking 
of all, the only sensible thing to do here. A pair 
of pyjamas covers a man as well as does a dress 
suit, and a sarong is much more modest than a 
ball-gown ; and what, prithee, is the objection to 
a bare foot, if only it be a pretty one ? 

Here a man lives two days for every one on 
the calendar. At six or thereabouts the gentle, 



328 LETTERS OF 

barefoot boy, who makes you his charge, ap- 
pears with coffee ; you emerge, having donned a 
clean and unused suit of pyjamas, on the tiled 
porch, and gaze upon a clean, green world cooled 
by the overnight shower-damp, and glistening 
under the rising sun. Coffee is brought to you 
cold in a bottle ! You pour a little into your cup 
and fill to the brim with hot milk; a rich caramel 
beverage is the result. 

Then the world bathes; not by wallowing in 
a tub, but by standing in a little stone room, with 
a shower in the ceiling, and ladling water over 
itself with a dipper from a stone reservoir in the 
corner. I always did like to splash water about. 

Men put on coats for breakfast, but ladies use 
the sarong until they dress at night for dinner. 

The morning is day No. i a. In it you walk 
or drive or transact business, and at twelve or 
one, you indulge in the rice-table — a variegated 
meal heaped on a single plate of rice, very much 
more pleasing to the palate than to eye or ear. 
The rice-table ends day No. i a, and after it 
Netherlands India goes to sleep. 

Day No. i b commences at four o'clock, and 
again you emerge on your porch, for tea this 
time, to find a world full of hints of a cool even- 
ing breeze, and golden with the late sunlight. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 329 

You bathe, and dress in European clothes, drive, 
walk, or sit in a club or cafe to hear the music, 
until nine o'clock, at which advanced hour you 
dine, and dine well, at the Hotel des Indes. 

Another feature which Batavia alone pos- 
sesses among Eastern colonies is an excellent 
group of cafes. They are built along the great 
canal-road, the Noordwyjk, which is Batavia's 
Broadway and Fifth Avenue combined, and 
leads across town from one plain to the other. 
The spacious front yards of these cafes are filled 
with little tables, and there you may sit and sip 
an ice or a long cool drink, and munch pastry 
as delicate as Maillard's, and watch the flow of 
social life and ordinary people's life along the 
Noordwyjk, while the band plays, not "Annie 
Rooney," as per old saw, but Strauss waltzes and 
bits from the operas. 

In Batavia there is no newness or colonial 
unfinishedness; it is as quaint and old-world as 
Holland itself, and just as minutely complete. 
The Dutch inhabitants, men, women, and chil- 
dren, are happy and loyal to the colony, prefer- 
ring not to return to Europe. Moreover, they 
are prosperous even as the oft-mentioned bay- 
tree, which, I believe, is said to have flourished, 
and, thanks to their sensible custom of making 



330 LETTERS OF 

conventions suit the climate, they are healthy, — - 
healthy beyond the conception of the word at 
Hong Kong, although Batavia is some ten de- 
grees nearer to the Equator. 

The natives of Java are of three distinct tribes, 
although the mere physical differences, aside 
from dress and language, are almost impercepti- 
ble at first. Malay, Soeudanese, and Javanese are 
the accepted divisions, and around Batavia the 
Malays predominate. 

The men w^ear round velvet caps or hattek tur- 
bans, loose trousers, or a sarong, which is simply 
a long cloth wrapped about the body from the 
waist down, and a thin jacket. The ladies — 
or women, I suppose you would say — wear 
the sarong folded above the breasts, and their 
jackets are long, reaching almost to the knee in 
some cases, buttoned across the breast, and open 
from the waist down. Both men and women 
affect bright colors, — canary yellow, scarlet, 
deep shades and intricate designs of brown and 
purple, — so the green-walled, tree-arched road- 
way is at all times a kaleidoscope of color. The 
cloth used for the sarong is painted and waxed, a 
native process known as battek-work, and some- 
times one sarong is worth forty or fifty gold dol- 
lars, although the majority are of trifling value. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 331 

The people themselves are brown and well 
formed, with gentle features and large dark 
eyes. They are very clean, and you can see them 
at all hours splashing about in the canals; they 
keep their teeth remarkably white. 

They are friendly but not at all demonstrative, 
and the most noticeable thing about them is 
their quietness ; there is never a noise in the most 
crowded street. They gather by hundreds along 
the roadside to listen to the cafe music in the 
evening, but a blind man would never guess that 
they were there. They make no sign, but quietly 
listen and enjoy, and often in the daytime you 
will hear a few bars of some European opera, and 
discover a native boy whistling them at his work, 
which shows that they listen well. Their voices 
when they speak to a foreigner, or even to each 
other, are as gentle as a girl's when she is trying 
to make you think that she has never spoken 
that way to any one else, and there is music in 
the way they say *'Sia/^ which means "Yes, 



sir." 



We were lucky enough to see the celebration 
of Santa Claus Night on December 5th, and the 
Noordwyjk was in a state of high carnival until 
after midnight. Hundreds of natives watched 
proceedings without comment, except when a 



332 LETTERS OF 

well-aimed shower of confetti drew from them 
a little quiet laughter. The next day, however, 
native children in the side-streets acted the 
carnival over again, chasing one another about 
with scanty handfuls of confetti, which they had 
scraped up from the street. It was a little pitiful. 
I don't know why, though, for they were having 
a good time. 

There are large numbers of Eurasians or half- 
castes in Batavia, but their social position is ex- 
actly what they choose to make it, and instead of 
being outcasts, as they are in British India, the 
highest positions are open to them. Here, as in 
other parts of the East, the Eurasians take most 
readily to work of a clerical sort. Although the 
Dutch policy has been to make the native believe 
that the white man is a superior being, and al- 
though natives are not allowed to marry white 
women, or to wear European clothes without 
either the turban or sarong as a badge of native 
blood, and until very lately have not been allowed 
to learn the Dutch language, — notwithstanding 
these facts, the sharp line between the Orient 
and Occident seems almost to disappear here, 
and the races appear to be intermingling with 
excellent results. 

The rickshaw is unknown here, and the com- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 333 

mon mode of covering ground is in the sado 
(dos a dos), a low dog-cart drawn by a rat of a 
pony. The elite, however, use huge "my lords," 
drawn by great Australian horses, and there are 
several big French motors in town. 

The wonderful Chinaman has come here in 
great numbers, and come to stay. He is the Java 
capitalist, and there is one at Surabaya worth 
;? 1 5,000,000 gold. He dresses himself in Euro- 
pean clothes, and his wife in Paris gowns (and 
very sweet she looks, too) ; he drives every even- 
ing along the Noordwyjk in the best turnout in 
Batavia, and in some cases he drives his own 
motor-car; his children are Oriental Buster 
Browns, with bare knees, and he sends his 
grown-up sons to Oxford and his daughters to a 
Parisian convent. Some day I believe the China- 
man and the Anglo-Saxon will understand each 
other, and share the world between them. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 

BuiTENZORG, December 8, 1907. 
Dear Ones, — On Saturday, yesterday, we 
came to Bogor, Buitenzorg, Sans-souci, or Free- 
from-care, as you may choose to call it. It is about 
eight hundred feet above Batavia, and can be 
reached in an hour by express train. It is Java's 



334 LETTERS OF 

hill-capital, for the Governor and his officials 
have palaces here, v^here they live most of the 
year. 

Our balcony overlooks a fertile valley, the 
Tji-dami, with its river just below us. Native 
houses, of white matting, line the banks and nestle 
at the foot of tall cocoanut-palms. A broad 
stretch of level country, rich with the most luxu- 
riant forms of tropic growth and the most de- 
lightful shades of green, reaches out towards the 
horizon, and behind it all is a towering blue 
volcano — mighty Salak. 

All day we can watch the life in the village 
below. A continual tumbling in and out of the 
swift river, it seems to be, varied with occasional 
walks up the trunk of a palm tree after cocoa- 
nuts. 

The feature at Buitenzorg is the Botanical 
Garden, and in it we have spent most of our 
time. It is the finest garden in the world, a fact 
admitted by scientists and laymen alike. The 
first striking feature is an avenue of immense 
kanaro trees that meet in a green arch, over a 
hundred feet above the ground. Their trunks 
are twined about, and, in some cases, completely 
covered with vines and red-flowered creepers of 
endless variety; clumps of orchids spring from 
every bole. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 335 

Turning ofF this avenue, which leads the eye 
down a straight aisle to the distant palace of the 
Governor, you may wander at will through 
stranger plants and trees than ever grew in fairy- 
land. One narrow path leads to the section 
where giant creepers writhe from tree to tree; 
one huge liana, that has half a score of waringens 
in its coils, is as big round as a man's body. 
Then the palms, — cocoanut-palms, banana- 
palms, areca-palms, little palms, big palms, palms 
with leaves like plumes and leaves Hke swords 
and leaves like elephant's ears; palms with stems 
like bamboos, stems Hke beeches, stems like 
peeled wands, stems Hke pineapples, stems Hke 
tennis-racket-handles, stems like bottles, stems 
like almost everything you can think of, except 
sewing-machines; screw palms, with their roots 
above ground, looking as if they were trying to 
dance on their toes, or walk in the mud without 
wetting their feet, and Royal BraziHan palms, 
a whole avenue of them, tall as church steeples. 

Then the banks of the River Tjiliwang tempt 
you to linger, and the ponds of water-plants and 
Victoria Regia lilies, with pads large enough to 
float a baby, offer you seats on their banks, but 
the rose garden caHs you and you cannot stay. 
Before you have been half long enough in the 



336 LETTERS OF 

rose garden, you must leave, because you have 
not yet seen the orchids, among which, by the 
way, is one single plant that bears ten thousand 
blossoms. 

There is, moreover, a spacious section of for- 
est trees, dark glades, and aisles where strange 
species from strange forests in the farthest 
parts of the globe are gathered together, even as 
the strange trees are met in the magic wood 
of Spenser's "Faery Queen," a passage which 
critics have laughed at as presenting no picture 
to the mind, because it is so impossible. 

Before the palace is a broad green lawn, acres 
of it, dotted with banyan trees that cast almost 
half an acre's shade apiece. Some of them seem 
to have no connection with the earth, but to be 
great living canopies held aloft by prop after 
prop ; for in some cases the main trunk has van- 
ished and the tree is held aloft by the shoots and 
secondary trunks that its branches have sent 
down into the earth. Here, among the tangled 
heaps of roots that seem to claim as much right 
in the air as in the earth, herds of spotted deer 
rest, in the shade, or follow each other in long 
flying leaps across the open. 

Trees and vines, fruits and flowers there are 
by hundreds, whose forms were as unknown to 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 337 

me as their names are, but among them were 
many old friends, and some like the lotus and 
the frangipani, the waxy-white, sacred bo-flower 
of the Buddha, with its golden centre, were ac- 
quaintances we had made in China. 

Tropical fruits are found here in Java in the 
highest degree of excellence, but I really think 
that we have more fruits in the temperate zone 
that are delicious. The tropics have nothing to 
console one for the loss of the apple, the pear, 
the peach, and the plum at one fell blow. I think 
that our oranges are much better than the Java 
oranges. Bananas, however, are found here in 
all their excellence. You can find them of every 
size, from the "buffalo-horn banana," as long as 
your forearm, to the pee-wee, no bigger than your 
thumb ; you can find them of every color, from 
pale green to deepest orange, and of every con- 
sistency, mealy, stringy, chewy, and smooth as 
cream. There is such a multitude of fruits that 
it would only confuse you to name them ; suffice 
it to say of the common herd that they have, for 
the most part, hard, spiny exteriors and small, 
unsatisfying insides, which are packed away in 
unlikely corners and are either too sweet or too 
sour. 

Some Java fruits, however, deserve a word of 



338 LETTERS OF 

praise or damnation all to themselves. First 
there is the jamboa^ a pear-shaped, delicate thing, 
shading, in the same fruit, from purest white to 
tenderest pink; it almost makes your mouth 
water to look at it, but as for taste, there is not 
the slightest. The ramhutan is a red, prickly, 
burry growth that discloses an ellipse of semi- 
transparent white meat about the size of a date, 
with a hard stone therein. It tastes like lemon- 
jelly, and has a faculty of growing in your favor. 
Every one in China spoke with such respect and 
admiration of the mango that we quite looked for- 
ward to crossing the Equator, where it is now in 
season ; but lo ! the Java mango is merely pleas- 
ant to the taste, and it is the PhiHppine mango 
that they have in China during the summer 
months. The mangosteen^ however, makes up 
for all the deficiencies of its sister fruits. It is 
a round, hard, purple fruit as large as an apple; 
open it, and behold a snowy white cushion of five 
or six sections fitting closely against the thick red 
inner rind. It tastes vaguely of all the fruit sher- 
bets and scented ices you have ever eaten, and 
melts into a tartly sweet juice as soon as you 
close your mouth on it. Laugh if you like, but 
let me hear you describe a peach. 

T\it Duri an — yes, a capital D — is a prickly 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 339 

fruit as big as your head. Its smell has been 
likened to a mixture of the aromas of dead dog, 
onions, aged eggs, and stale cheese, but this com- 
bination does not do justice to its peculiar pene- 
tration. There are those who write poems to it, 
call it darling Durian, and describe its meat as 
a delicious, nutty custard, and there are those 
who leave the table when it appears at the pantry 
door. I do not commit myself, farther than to say 
that I do not write poems to it, by any manner of 
means. Of all the fruits that we have tasted here, 
the one I like the best is our old acquaintance, 
the pineapple. Java pineapples are the apothe- 
osis of that fruit; they have the color of cream, 
the odor of roses, and the consistency of butter, 
and what is best of all, they grow wild by every 
country roadside. 

Midday, December 14. 
On Monday morning we left Buitenzorg at 
sunrise and drove across the valley, between rice- 
fields unending, towards the Gedeh, another 
volcano of over eight thousand feet, which com- 
mands that quarter of the sky that Salak does 
not occupy. Every possible inch is cultivated 
in this little island, with its thirty millions of 
natives. Terrace after terrace rises up the hill- 



340 LETTERS OF 

side; some, acres in extent, others, a few feet 
across, and everywhere the water of the flooded 
fields runs over the terrace-wall to the lower 
levels, in a hundred miniature Niagaras. It is 
always harvest-time and always seed-time here, 
and next to a field of reapers we saw two buflFa- 
loes dragging a plough, with a tiny boy balanced 
on the single handle. The buffaloes in Java are 
gray or pinkish, and not so large as the mighty 
blue-black carabaos of South China and For- 
mosa. 

Our road was straight and planted with pri- 
meval trees ; beside us ran a mossy stone wall ; 
an older, more finished highway than Massachu- 
setts has to show. 

Our driver was a Chinaman, and he kept the 
three ponies, all hitched abreast, on a steady 
scamper. At the foot of the spur of Gedeh that 
our road crossed we added two more horses and 
a foot-boy, and the road wound up so steeply 
that Am. and I preferred to walk. For an hour 
we climbed the broad, steep road through an 
ideal tropical jungle. Palms and forest monarchs 
rising out of a tangle of green, only to mingle in 
a riot of foliage above; every vista filled with 
flowering streamers and writhing liana cords. A 
wealth of orchids and commoner flowers of every 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 341 

color, not on the ground alone, but everywhere, 
even to the highest tree-tops; and against the 
dark background flashed the living jewels that 
make every clump of leaves in Java musical. 
Two snakes only has it been our fortune to 
see, one a yard long, green as grass ; the other a 
living chain of rubies, but much smaller than 
our green friend. 

From the summit of the pass, Poontjak it is 
called, we looked down upon a new regency, the 
Preanger. New and larger ranges of mountains 
greeted us, and the same terraced fields we had 
left behind were at our feet. The Preanger is a 
mountainous country, full of game, and famous 
for the best tea and the prettiest girls in all Java. 
More of the Preanger later on, when we have 
visited the Baron at Sinagar. 

From Poontjak, where there is a little lake 
which completely changes its color from time to 
time, so the natives say, we rattled down a steep 
road, and an hour later drew up at the Sanato- 
rium Sindanglaya, a quiet, comfortable, pastoral 
place, with beautiful views of the Gedeh and 
several fantastic mountain ranges. The Gov- 
ernor has a quiet residence here. 

Tuesday morning we again rose betimes, 
whatever betimes may mean, and drove, still 



342 LETTERS OF 

downhill, to the railway station, Tjandjoer, 
where we caught the through express towards 
Surabaya and the uttermost ends of the earth. 
The scenery through the Preanger is varied and 
beautiful, especially the fertile, mountain-en- 
closed plain into which we peered as we rushed 
along a lofty hillside. A little time after noon 
we descended from the hills, and all the rest 
of the day we travelled through a gloomy 
jungle-swamp, where the tiger and rhinoceros 
and python lived in grumpy majesty, until the 
railroad drove them into still deeper recesses. 

Towards evening we reached Maos and all 
alighted for the night, as the excellent Java trains 
do not run at night. We found a government 
hotel here, a big marble-porched pasangrahan, 
where we lived in luxury overnight for the mod- 
est stipend of four florins, about a dollar and 
sixty cents. The host was a young Dutchman, 
very fond of hunting, and he told us that so far 
this year he has bagged one banteng or wild buf- 
falo, — an animal more dangerous than the tiger, 
— eight stags, twelve deer, and sixty wild pigs. 
His hunting-ground is within half an hour of the 
hotel. A few months ago, a friend of his came 
from Europe to get a Javanese rhinoceros, which 
is reputed very rare, but after six weeks in the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 343 

country, he bagged an excellent specimen of the 
ferocious one-horned type. 

At six on Wednesday our train continued. We 
travel second-class here, and find that every one 
who lives here does the same, unless he is travel- 
ling at the government expense. The road-beds 
are good, the cars very comfortable, and the trains 
run a little ahead of schedule time. At shortly 
before ten we reached Djokjokarta, capital of 
the largest of the protected Native States. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 

Djokjokarta, 
Monday, December i8, 1907. 

Dear Famille, — At Buitenzorg and in the 
Preanger we saw the Soeudanese people, about 
whom I will write you later when we return to 
their district, but from Maos on, we have been in 
the Java of the real Javanese. Djokja, as this 
place is called, is the centre of real Javanese life, 
and we have certainly enjoyed our visit here. 

The city is a beautiful one, with avenues 
shaded by the immense trees that are such a fea- 
ture of every town on the island. Most of the 
three hundred foreign inhabitants live on the 
main streets, where the hotels and government 
buildings are gathered, leaving the rest of the 



344 LETTERS OF 

town an untouched native capital. Towards the 
end of the broad central avenue is an open square 
with tiled roofs, where the native market is held 
every morning, and all of the luxuries and neces- 
sities of native life may be seen, piled in loose 
heaps on every hand. You, mother, would ruin 
yourself buying big copper-trays and jars, I know 
full well. Beyond this market is a small park and 
the barracks, and just across the road the roomy 
house of the President hides at the back of a 
garden, which is filled with carved gods taken 
from the neighboring ruins. The avenue ends 
shortly beyond, at a wide-open gate leading into 
the kraton, or enclosure of the Sultan, " Regent 
of this world and Vice- Regent of the Almighty." 

The kraton is a very large affair, and within 
its walls lives almost a quarter of the population 
of Djokja. The stranger is free to wander every- 
where within the enclosure, except into the pal- 
ace of the Sultan, which occupies the centre. 
Just after entering the main gate, a large square 
lies before one, the aloen-aloen, with waringen 
trees in the centre clipped to represent the state 
umbrella. Other smaller squares beyond contain 
the leopards and the elephants of his majesty. 

The stock sight of Djokja is the Tamansari or 
Water-Castle, built in the last century, and now 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 345 

in picturesque, jungle-grown ruins; but the real 
sights of Djokja are the streets, and all that in 
them is. 

The little cafe on the main avenue is a splen- 
did vantage-point, and we have made it our wont 
to sit there in the late afternoon, after the daily 
rain. 

The great part of the crowd is Javanese, but 
there is also a plentiful sprinkling of Chinese, 
who are the merchants, and Arabs, who are the 
money-lenders of the island. The Javanese wear 
their sarongs very long in front, so that they 
have to be held with one hand sometimes, and 
the elaborate pleats and folds show the rank of 
the wearer, as does the kris, which all, except the 
lowest coolies, wear thrust through the girdle at 
the back. Some of these krisses are of elaborate 
workmanship, in scabbards of precious metal. 
The turban is folded tighter than is the custom 
among the Soeudanese, and the contour is very 
different. Some of the men wear the hair long, 
with a circle comb and knot behind. 

When a gentleman or small official walks 
abroad, he is followed by a servant bearing a 
state umbrella, the size and color of which tell 
plainly the man's rank and station, and when an 
official of prominence, or a prince, drives down 



346 LETTERS OF 

the avenue, there is much galloping about and 
commotion of liveried servants. 

Although by this time v^e are accustomed to 
the most startling native deshabille, which, by the 
way, is much less frequent among grown people 
here than it is in China and Japan, it is never- 
theless startling to sit on the piazza of a minia- 
ture Parisian cafe and see a graceful, slender girl 
of ten standing on the curb, with her bronzed 
arms stretched behind her head, and no pre- 
tence of clothing beyond a silver anklet. Her 
brothers dodge automobiles, themselves in the 
same state of unencumbered activity as little 
sister. 

The Javanese seem to me the darkest-skinned, 
the gravest, and the most refined in feature of the 
island races, but they are not so good-looking as 
the Soeudanese. They wear sober colors, dark 
blues and browns, and only the wealthy slip their 
bare feet into sandals. You can never catch a 
Javanese man without his turban, indoors or out, 
unless you surprise him dressing or bathing; if 
he wears a hat, it is over the turban. 

The women carry their babies slung by a 
cloth astride their hips, and most of the fair ones 
have a large chunk of betel-nut tucked away in 
their cheeks. A great variety of life goes on 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 347 

along the curb, where sellers of sweet drinks and 
pastries vend their wares from group to group, 
or a jewelled dancing-girl gives her dramatic 
sing-song on a tiny square of carpet in the street. 

It is a strange sight to see the servants of a 
native chief approach him, as he stands talking 
to a friend. Within a certain radius the servant 
may not stand, so down he squats on his heels 
and waddles up to the Presence, and when he 
speaks to his master, it is with joined finger- 
tips raised to the forehead. The dodok and sem- 
hahy these measures of respect are called. 

Driving in the country near here is best in the 
early morning, but pleasant always. In spite of 
the daily rains, the roads remain smooth and 
rutless. We have driven through countless rice- 
fields and kampongs, with an ever-changing 
series of buffaloes, babies, country passers, and 
out-of-door theatres. There is a strange long- 
necked bird that haunts these rice-fields. It has 
a black body, yellow head, and a curved, snaky 
bill. The hens in the road are the largest hens in 
the world, and look like young ostriches. As our 
carriage rolls by a group of natives, off come 
their sun-hats, and down on their heels they 
squat until we have gone by. 

For the last three days we have been at the 



348 LETTERS OF 

ruins of Barabudur near here, and I have written 
a separate account of the temple, as it seems too 
serious a subject to be treated along with the 
other tattle of an ordinary letter. If the style of 
the account seems rather pedantic and labored, 
it is because I dreaded to be flippant in such sur- 
roundings. 

Captain Erb, who has charge of the govern- 
ment work going on there, was kind enough to 
let me see the photographs of the sculptures, 
buried under the first terrace, which photographs 
are inaccessible to the general public; and he 
also showed me photographs of the Ceylon 
temples, which formed an excellent comparison, 
as they treated the same subjects. He also gave 
me a great deal of general information. Aside 
from a few facts gleaned from three travellers' 
accounts of the temple, I got all my information 
about the explanation of different groups from 
Dr. Groneman's treatise on the Tyandi Bara- 
budur. 

I was able to buy some excellent pictures from 
the government photographer here in Djokja, 
but they do not include the reliefs I should most 
like to have, and I could not find a single view of 
any of the giant volcanoes round about, whose 
beauty it is impossible to exaggerate. They are 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 349 

as detached as Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier on the 
coast, and you have the full advantage of their 
height from a little above sea-level. Merbaboe is 
like a great arrowhead, and Soenbing, 10,464 
feet high, is not a second Fuji, but a duplicated 
Fuji, with an ever-changing foreground of palm 
groves, villages, rivers, and flooded fields, as you 
change your point of view. I shall send you the 
photographs I have from Batavia, where I can 
get cardboard wrappers. Please read the arti- 
cles in connection with them and save them, as I 
intend to have them framed in groups. Having 
seen the originals, I suppose they call up much 
more to me than they will to you, but I am de- 
lighted to have them. 

Near Barabudur are two smaller temples. 
There are several other groups of Buddhist and 
Brahman ruins near here, one comprising a 
thousand separate small temples. On the pla- 
teau of Dieng, which is itself compared to our 
Yellowstone and Yosemite combined, there are 
the remains of a holy city, and several fine moun- 
tain villages; this plateau is only seven hours 
from here on horseback, and its floor is over five 
thousand feet above the sea, but duty — or its 
substitute, our schedule — calls us, and we leave 
on the return trip to-morrow. 



350 LETTERS OF 

To-morrow night we shall return farther than 
Maos, stopping at Bandoeng in the Preanger, 
and Wednesday (day after to-morrow) we shall 
dismount at Tjibadae and drive to Sinagar, the 
finest tea-plantation on the island, where Baron 

Von H has invited us to visit him for a 

day or so. Then Batavia, Singapore, and Co- 
lombo. 

I have not attempted to tell you half that could 
be told about the temple. I simply want you to 
know how it looks, a little of what it means, and 
how it impressed me. As we are going to see the 
ruins of Ceylon and some of the great temples 
of Southern India which rival the Barabudur, it 
will be interesting to compare my impressions, 
so I will write up each great temple separately in 
this form, if it seems feasible after I have seen 
them. 

Although this is the rainy season, we are hav- 
ing beautiful weather, with a heavy shower for a 
few moments every afternoon. We take things 
easily, and I have not once been so hot as we 
were all summer in Japan, or are usually on the 
road between the Lake and Roscommon. There 
is generally a cool breeze, and at Sindanglaya the 
thermometer dropped to 60 degrees at five in the 
afternoon. It seems strange, though, in this land 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 351 

of palms and orchids and heavy fragrances, to 
think of father slipping home from the office with 
sleet blowing in his face, and Pamela snow- 
buried at Briarcliff, as she was one time last year 
when I visited her. Although it is December, it 
still seems last summer to me, and when I reach 
home, I shall never know I 've missed a year, but 
go right on where I left off last July. 

If, father, you would like to have my opinion 
on the Chinese, who are still with us and will be 
until we strike British India, I think that they 
are the most wonderful, most attractive, most 
puzzling, most unapproachable, and all round 
best race of the world, except our own. Come 
over in May, meet me at either Constantinople, 
Rome, or Hamburg, and we will take the Sibe- 
rian railway to Pekin, have a month there 
roundabouts, and return home via Korea, reach- 
ing there (home) in August. It may not be wise 
or prudent, but I will guarantee you more fun, 
pleasure, and instruction than you ever had in 
three months before, and also that you will not 
regret it. Be a sport, come ahead; my letter 
of credit is at your disposal, if you want to buy 
tons of Chinese mandarin coats for mother. It 
would be as cheap as Europe, except for the 
Pacific passage, and we should take a Jap boat. 



352 LETTERS OF 

It is the only chance of our Hves to go on a big 
spree together, and we could devour dozens of 
works on the train going across about Man- 
churia, where we could stay with my friend 

S at Mukden, and altogether conquer China 

in the north. I have decided that after America, 
China is the one country in which I had rather 
live, work, or study. (Cf. my first Shanghai let- 
ters.) If Pekin does n't strike you, come any- 
way in May, and I will lead you into trouble in 
some other quarter of the globe. Bring a tooth- 
brush and pyjamas, nothing else (except a dress 

suit for Pekin and Mr. R 's dinners, or Sir 

R H 's). I will send all my baggage 

home except two hand-pieces, and then we shall 
be free to go any place we have money enough 
to buy a ticket to. Come, be reckless, for once, 
Pater. 

As I go on, I am less and less content with the 
superficial knowledge I have of the history of the 
places we visit, and the knowledge I can cook up 
with the books at hand. I almost dread to go to 
Greece and Italy, without a few more years of 
special preparation ; I should like to have all the 
myths and heroes and battles of classic history 
under perfect command when I go there to spend 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 353 

any time. For Asia Minor or Egypt I am a little 
better prepared, as I read largely about them last 
spring. 

Lots of love to every one at home. 

Gilbert. 



354 LETTERS OF 



THE RUINS OF BARABUDUR 

Once upon a time there was a smooth, green 
hill that rose in perfect proportions from a tiny 
plateau on another larger hill, which, in turn, 
lifted gently from a sea of waving palm-fronds 
and billows of Kamari foliage. 

All this was a hundred years ago in the Dutch 
colony of Java ; then the Dutch colony became 
English for a time, — not a long time, but long 
enough to enable Sir Stamford Raffles and his 
men, who were prying about with un-Teutonic 
haste and energy, to scratch a bit of earth from 
the sides of this perfect green hill and reveal, 
to the wonder of all men, a mighty ancient temple 
of the Buddha ; the most perfect monument that 
Buddhistic art has given to the world. 

There are ruins that cover more ground, and 
the great Khuner monument in Cambodia, the 
Angkor Vhat, is more imposing from a distance, 
but in its purity and unity of design, in its wealth 
of detail and the finished execution of its miles 
of sculpture, Barabudur stands alone in all the 
world. 

Fifty years and more of research and compara- 
tive study of the temple have established the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 355 

fact that it was built about the tenth century of 
the Christian Era, and completed just before 
Buddhism, the religion of the intellect and 
peace, was stamped out by Mohammedan con- 
querors, who preached a religion of blood and 
war and all the fiercer passions. It was the final 
production of the Hindu civilization, which was 
higher and wealthier than any civilization that 
the island has since seen; and, after its fall, the 
temple silted over slowly, or, some say, was cov- 
ered by the faithful for protection, and even the 
natives in the village at the foot of the hill forgot 
that the Barabudur had ever been anything other 
than a smooth green mound. 

The ruin stands in the centre of the old king- 
dom of Mataram, now the protected Sultanate of 
Djokjokarta. To reach it one rides for almost 
two days on the railroad down the centre of the 
island, from Batavia, the capital, to the city of 
Djokjokarta. From there the pleasantest way 
to accomplish the remaining sixteen miles is by a 
carriage, drawn by four Java ponies, who race 
along the well-shaded roads, biting at each other 
and giving now and then a tentative kick in the 
direction of the foot-boy, who cracks his whip as 
he runs beside them. 

For three hours you drive between rows of 



356 LETTERS OF 

fine old trees, through villages of mat-houses, 
through native markets (passars)^ bright with 
fruit and flowers and gay colors, with glimpses 
of broad padi-fields and green hills cultivated to 
the top, and finally you skirt the base of the hill 
you have come to find, and a last dash of your 
ponies, shouted at and cracked at by your coach- 
man and foot-boy, lands you on the tiny plateau 
at the door of a comfortable rest-house, within 
a lame bird's flutter of the Barabudur, the House 
of Many Buddhas. 

The first sight of the Barabudur is disappoint- 
ing; but it is with all things as it is with friends, 
the best and greatest are those that reserve 
hidden beauties for a closer acquaintance. This 
ruin first presents itself as a heavy mass, a chaos 
of cold stone, streaked with gray and black. Some 
one has called it the photograph of a building, 
and a wag likened it to an old stove in which the 
fire has long since died ; which latter description 
may seem funny to some people, but is not true. 

Let the newly-arrived traveller crack all his 
jokes and talk about his stoves and photographs 
and tell the old Mynheer, who luckily does not 
understand English, how much bigger buildings 
he has seen at home, and then let him sit himself 
down in a comfortable chair in the rest-house 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 357 

portico — and look. Let him look lazily through 
the sleepy haze of the early afternoon heat, and 
through the shifting veil of rain that follows, and 
he will see this chaos of broken stones resolve 
itself into a massive temple rising terrace upon 
terrace and gallery above gallery to the giant 
dagoba that crowns it all. He will see the jagged 
spires and cones that break the sky Hne range 
themselves into orderly rows, and he will see 
long tiers of Buddhas smiling in their temple 
niches. 

On the day of our arrival the rain lasted far 
into the evening, and after dark we sat look- 
ing out where the ruin had been. Now and 
again the lightning would flash it in lines of fire, 
perfectly restored, on the dark background; a 
striking contrast of light and shade, dark gal- 
leries and arches, wide-mouthed monsters and 
Buddhas deep in meditation, that no storm could 
disturb. A rose-colored palace rising, complete 
in all details, out of the night, only to fade before 
the eye could grasp it. 

The base of the pyramid is thirty-six-sided, 
that is, a square with two rectangular projections 
on each face. The first terrace, as the ruin now 
stands, is a broad open platform about ten feet 
above the ground. The inner wall of the terrace, 



358 LETTERS OF 

however, rises above the level of the second gal- 
lery and forms a parapet for it, twice higher than 
a man's head; the inner walls of the second, third, 
fourth, and fifth terraces, in like manner, rise to 
form a parapet for the terrace above them. The 
sixth terrace forms the top of the square pyramid 
and has only a parapet, no inner wall; from it 
rise three circular terraces bearing seventy-two 
dagobas of stone lattice-work, each one over five 
feet high. In the centre of the topmost circle 
rises the great single dagoba of solid stone, a 
closed bell thirty feet high. In the centre a 
straight stairway, guarded by lions and monsters, 
leads through ornamental gateways to the sum- 
mit of the central dagoba. 

Nine terraces, then, there are in all. The first, 
an open platform ; the next four, narrow canons 
with walls of sculptured stone open only to the 
sky ; the sixth, hidden from the world by a high 
parapet and open only to the zenith ; the seventh, 
eighth, and ninth, circular in form and open on 
all sides ; and above all the great closed dagoba, 
the secret, sacred place. 

The mornings in Java are always the pleasant- 
est part of the day, and early in the morning we 
climbed the ruin for the first time, up the damp 
stone stairs to the tipmost top, one hundred and 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 359 

twenty feet above the hill. At our feet lay great 
masses of foliage and acres of close-huddled 
cocoanut-palms, sending forth glittering lances 
of white light from their hard, poHshed leaves; 
flooded padi-fields mirrored the lines of spindle- 
stemmed palm trees that march along their 
boundaries, and the broad valley-floor was cheq- 
uered with every shade of green by the young 
rice, the growing rice, and the yellowed crop of 
ripened grain, which flourish side by side in this 
eternal summer. Hill ranges rose in a circle about 
the level basin, and behind them towered the blue 
cones of nine volcanoes; Soembing, symmetri- 
cal as Fuji, Merapi, with a wisp of cloud trail- 
ing from its crater, and Merababoe, each rising 
perfect and alone, a thousand feet above us. 
The morning sounds of the village drifted up 
through the trees, roosters' crowing and chil- 
dren's laughter, and a great flood of light poured 
over the eastern hills. All of the temple Buddhas 
had their backs to us and their faces to the glory 
of the morning. This was the three hundred 
and sixty-thousandth odd morning since first they 
had looked out over the valley, yet a million 
mornings are as a flash of time to the dwellers 
in the House of Many Buddhas, for here is Nir- 
vana, which is Everlasting Rest. 



36o LETTERS OF 

There is a great work of restoration going on 
here at present, under the enthusiastic direction 
of Captain Erb. Fragments are carefully studied 
and replaced in their original positions; the 
old drainage system is being repaired, and weak 
spots rebuilt with the old material. 

Some years ago it was discovered that what is 
now the first terrace is not part of the original 
design, and when a portion of this stone plat- 
form was removed, a series of one hundred and 
sixty beautiful sculptures around the real base 
was revealed in a perfect state of preservation. 
Some of these sculptures were unfinished, which 
proved the fact, until then only a theory, that all 
of the carving on this remarkable temple was 
made after the structure was completed. It is 
supposed that, while the artists were still at work 
on the base, they discovered that the foundations 
were insufficient for so great a mass; so they 
carefully packed the finished bas-reliefs with 
earth, and added the stone platform, which is now 
the first terrace. To leave these reliefs exposed 
would have endangered the life of the struc- 
ture, so they were carefully photographed and 
re-buried beneath tons of stone. They portray 
scenes of the common life of the times, hunting, 
love-making, dancing, with a few torments of 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 361 

hell thrown in, to give the series a religious flavor ; 
but no connected meaning has as yet been dis- 
covered in them. 

The inner wall of the first terrace has a high 
sloping base of ornamental curves; above this 
runs a single line of bas-reliefs ; and above the 
bas-reliefs is a tier of arched niches, little open 
temples, flanked and surmounted by solid stone 
dagobas, and in each niche sits a life-sized 
Buddha, and the back of this Buddha-tier forms 
the parapet of the gallery above. The outer and 
inner walls of each successive gallery are cov- 
ered with a double row of bas-reliefs, and each 
inner wall is surmounted by a tier of arches like 
that on the wall of the first terrace, so that five 
rows of Buddhas on each side rise, one above 
the other's head; four hundred and thirty-two 
images of the Lord in all. 

On the three open terraces above, which bear 
the dagobas of stone lattice-work, are seventy- 
two more Buddha images, screened oflF from the 
world, but open to the four winds of heaven; 
and lastly, in the great closed dagoba above all, 
walled in by twenty feet of solid stone, was found 
a solitary Buddha, of the same size and posture 
as the others, but unfinished, although the sur- 
rounding dagoba was perfectly complete. 



362 LETTERS OF 

There have been many theories advanced 
about this unfinished Buddha, from the most 
complicated and hair-splitting deductions to the 
absurdly simple one that perhaps the builders 
thought it useless to finish a figure that was never 
intended to be seen. There are as many theories 
about the other Buddhas, general opinion decid- 
ing that they are the five Dhyani Buddhas, of the 
Mahayana or Northern Buddhist church; the 
saviours of three long vanished worlds, this pre- 
sent world, and a fifth world still to come; and 
that the unfinished figure is Adi-Buddha, — the 
Ur-Buddha or Father Buddha, from whom the 
Dhyani Buddhas all came, and into whom they 
will all return. 

But this theory finds contradiction in many 
internal evidences in the temple, and the simplest 
and most reasonable one seems to me to be that 
of Dr. Groneman. He divides the Buddhas into 
three groups : (i) those of the open arch-temples ; 
(2) those of the stone-latticed dagobas ; and (3) 
the unfinished Buddha of the great dagoba. 

The Buddhas of group one, who ornament the 
first four tiers, differ slightly in the position of 
the hands, according to the point of the compass 
that they face. The Buddhas of the fifth tier, 
who look out upon the zenith, are all identical, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 363 

but differ in the position of their hands from all 
those of the tiers below. Dr. Groneman believes 
that all of these figures are of the same Buddha, 
Amitabha, the Saviour of this world, known to 
us as Gautama or Sakya-muni, and that the five 
positions of the hands show his dominion over 
the four quarters of the globe and the sky above, 
to typify which he took five steps in each direc- 
tion named, just after he sprang from Maya's 
side in the grove Lumbini. 

The figures of the lattice-work dagobas are 
images of the same Buddha, but show him re- 
moved from this world and its affairs, in a state 
of heavenly meditation. These Buddhas show a 
sixth position of the hands. 

The final Buddha of group three is still the 
same Gautama, in a state of pari-Nirvana per- 
fection, infinite non-existence, the goal of life. 
If the figure is intended to portray this exalted 
state of being or non-being, it is no wonder that 
the artist felt his limitations and the profanity of 
any conception he could conjure up, and left the 
work incomplete. 

The great glory of the Barabudur, however, is 
its bas-reliefs, which cover every available surface 
of the mighty pile, — over two thousand separate 
groups, of a perfection of finish that makes the 



364 LETTERS OF 

art of Ceylon's buried cities look like the work 
of children. Since Mrs. Carrie Nation informed 
the world that the saloons of a certain section of 
our noble country, if placed side by side, would 
reach from New York to Chicago, the formation 
of fictitious lines has been a popular form of giv- 
ing an idea of great numbers of any object. An 
imaginary line has been formed of these care- 
fully executed bas-reliefs, and we are assured 
that it would stretch for three miles ! 

There is plenty to interest even the amateur 
for days in the endless picture galleries of the 
five stone valleys in the temple's sides, as I found 
after three days' experience; and after he has 
once seen the outlook from the top platform, he 
will never think of leaving the ruin after a morn- 
ing spent there, without climbing up for another 
glimpse of the blue circle of volcanoes, gathering 
their clouds about them, and the smiling valley- 
floor beneath. Truly, I think that this view is one 
of the world's fairest. 

Many of the groups are interesting in them- 
selves, without the least understanding of their 
real meaning. There are some that are funny : a 
monkey teasing a bull, and an elephant imitat- 
ing a dancing-girl; and there are plenty that are 
beautiful, according to the same rules that Greek 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 365 

Art is judged by. You will find purity of outline, 
exquisite modelling, free natural poses, and 
graceful proportions. Jewelled princesses among 
their ladies, lovers reclining beneath palms, wise 
men talking to their disciples in the shade of the 
sacred bo-tree, gorgeous pageants with elephants 
and chariots, sword-bearers and dancing-girls, 
follow each other up and down the passages; and 
when you see them so full of life and beauty, it is 
hard to realize that not only the men that fash- 
ioned them, but the civilization they portray has 
passed away as though it had never been. 

Interesting as single groups may be, as simple 
works of art, there is a deeper interest in read- 
ing through whole series a connected story, and 
learning what they meant to the pilgrim of a 
thousand years ago. Here you will find all the 
fabled former lives of Buddha, before he was 
Gautama. 

How the Lord was once a turtle, and, perceiv- 
ing a ship about to sink, surrounded by hungry 
sharks, saved the passengers upon his back, car- 
ried them to a desert island, and there offered 
them his own body for food. 

How the Lord was once the king of a tribe of 
monkeys that lived in a great fig tree. The tree 
was attacked, and there was no escape except 



366 LETTERS OF 

across a deep cleft, which none but the Lord 
could jump. He reaches the mountain-side 
safely and finds there a long bamboo ; out of this 
and his own back he forms a bridge across which 
the monkeys all escape. But the Lord is faint 
from loss of blood, being badly torn by the mon- 
keys' feet, and falls into the hands of his enemies, 
the hunters. They have watched the scene with 
great astonishment and nurse him tenderly, and 
to their questions he replies that it is a prince's 
duty to serve, and not be served by his subjects. 
Best of all, however, is the series on the inner 
wall of the second terrace, — the series that tells 
the tale of Buddha's life, from birth to death. 
Around the whole terrace runs the story of his 
sufferings as the Saviour of the world, and his 
achievements at the end. You see his miraculous 
birth, the adoration of the wise men, the trial of 
the bow, the first sight of the sufferings of the 
world, as he rides past the beggar by the city gate. 
Then comes his resolve to give his life to man- 
kind ; the long discussion with the disappointed 
king, his father, which lasts so far into the night 
that all the guards about the palace fall asleep; 
the parting from his wives ; and his escape on the 
magic sun-horse, in spite of locked gates and 
armed guards. Many of the incidents next por- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 367 

trayed resemble incidents in the life of Christ, 
although Buddha lived four hundred years B. c, 
and incidents in the life of the Hindu Vishnu as 
well. He is seen seated on a lotus cushion in- 
structing the Brahman teachers, although he is 
but a youth. He goes into the wilderness to fast 
and meditate, and then he is tempted of the 
Devil, "with the aid of his daughters the Rosy 
Morning Mists." He is followed by disciples, 
who leave their homes and the religion of their 
fathers for him, and finally he becomes a wise, 
loved teacher, dying in the midst of friends. His 
life lacks only the crowning glory of the Cross to 
make it a close counterpart of our highest ideal. 
There is almost nothing to detract from one's 
romantic enjoyment of the Barabudur. It stands 
in the open country in the midst of farm-life 
which is much the same to-day as it was when 
the temple was built; there are no guides about, 
no curio-shops, no tickets to buy, no fees to gate- 
keepers, and you are free to wander over the 
whole pile at will, at any hour of day or night. 
Of course there are many broken arches and 
parapets, some of the reliefs are cracked and 
broken, the floors sag, and some of the Buddhas 
are headless or armless, and some have vanished 
altogether; but in studying the perfection that 



368 LETTERS OF 

remains, you notice only the ruined condition in 
a subconscious feeling of awe and reverence and 
mighty age. 

It must have been an epoch in the life of every 
devout pilgrim to climb this hill and walk past 
the carved groups, every one of which spoke to 
him a living truth. And when, saddened by the 
sufferings of his Lord's life, he turned away won- 
dering, "To what end; to what end.^" which- 
ever way he turned his eyes, there was one of 
the five hundred Master Images, to answer him 
with its eternal smile: "Peace, Rest, Peace!" 
So that, finally, when he emerged on the upper 
platforms among the Heavenly Buddhas, with 
the glorious view of the world before him, and 
the Unseen Presence of the closed dagoba close 
at hand, he must have been in just the frame of 
mind to receive all that was best of this great 
teacher's cult. 

For it is a great cult, and Buddha was a very 
great teacher. One cannot spend even one 
thoughtful hour on the ruins, without feeling that 
this slender-waisted, smiling man, who sits cross- 
legged on a lotus-flower, is no mere stone con- 
ventionality, but a living force to-day; for he 
taught to the East the same principles of Love 
arid Peace and Tolerance that Christ taught us 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 369 

in the West, and those who believe in him to-day 
are more in number than the followers of any 
other religion on earth. 

One day, while I was on the spot, there came 
a party of tourists to the Barabudur, rejoicing 
in the fact that they were doing the polite un- 
usual. They sprang from their carriage with, 
"Oh, there it is ! " and were off at a dash. They 
climbed the ruin as though it were a mountain, 
and eternal salvation awaited the first to reach 
the top. They had left Djokja after breakfast, 
had done another ruin on the way out, and 
were back to Djokja in time for tiffin; a thirty- 
four-mile drive, with a couple of old temples 
on the side. Off they drove, happy that they had 
added one more object to the list of things, on 
which they could now discourse exhaustively and 
finally, "from personal experience, my dear!" 
for the rest of their lives. 

The old Mynheer shook his head with a know- 
ing smile as they whirled away, and "Pouf !" he 
said with a shrug, as he clapped to the ledger in 
which they had just inscribed their names. The 
old Mynheer can talk no English, but his remarks 
are always brief and to the point. "Pouf!" 
How the dust flew as he banged the ledger 



covers toeetner! 



togeth( 



370 LETTERS OF 

On the last night there was a moon, and under 
it the ruin loomed mightier than ever against the 
sky. Not a dead relic, but a living symbol; and 
now, after having seen them, there is always 
about the ruin the presence of the kings and 
princes, warriors, maidens, the spreading trees, 
the tangled flowers, the wise elephants and forest 
creatures that live in its long silent halls. Like 
Keats's sculptured urn, they "tease us out of 
thought as doth eternity." 

Somewhere, some one was playing the game- 
Ian and another was singing an endless, plaintive 
song. Perhaps it was the village-singer, rehears- 
ing the past glories of the Sultans to a quiet 
audience beneath the palms at the hill's foot, 
behind the ruin, and perhaps — who knows ? 
— it was the music of the Rosy Morning Mists 
in the second gallery, who have been tempting 
Buddha with their beauty and their songs for 
the last thousand years. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 371 

Mandalay, January 4, 1908. 

Dear Ones, — From Djokjokarta we de- 
parted at the hour of seven on Monday morning, 
and after riding all day through a tangle of jun- 
gle, with palm-leaf huts buried here and there 
in the reeking wilderness of green, we climbed 
again into the Preanger country and left behind 
us the ancient kingdom of Mataram and the 
quiet, sober Javanese peasants. 

We spent the night in comfort, nay luxury, at 
an excellent hostelry in the provincial capital of 
Bandoeng, a flourishing, attractive city of green 
lawns and arching aisles of waringens. 

I don't think that I have given you in my let- 
ters a full sense of the excellent accommodation 
which the island hotels furnish. Your room is 
always on the first floor, and to reach it there 
is no crowded office to pass through, but you 
step right from a garden to your marble terrace, 
or the tiled porch on which your room opens. 
Many a dreamy siesta have we spent on these 
verandahs, with the blazing world beyond our 
cool, shadowed retreat, panting for the daily flood 
that never fails to come; and many a quiet even- 
ing have we sat in our easy chairs, after our late 
dinner, and looked out upon the beauty and mys- 



372 LETTERS OF 

tery of a tropic night through clouds of delicate 
tobacco smoke, with all the strange night noises 
filling our ears, and the swift flash of a lizard 
crossing the white streak of light on the stone 
floor beside us. 

Good food, unfailing courtesy, and quiet, bare- 
foot service complete the charm of the Javanese 
country hotel. 

Tuesday morning we took train again, still 
towards Batavia, and climbed higher and higher 
into the mountains, past many prosperous towns. 
The contrast between the Javanese and Soeu- 
danese people is very marked indeed. These 
mountaineers, with their light skins and fre- 
quently rosy cheeks, their pleasant laughter and 
chafl&ng, their picturesque turbans with long 
streamers down the back, their pinks and greens 
and purples, are of different clay from their low- 
land cousins. The Soeudanese sarong is not a 
square of cloth folded about the body like the 
Javanese sarong ; it is a bag-like skirt, and often 
it is worn over one shoulder and under the other 
arm, like the Scotch tartan. 

Early in the afternoon we dismounted at a 
small station called Tjibadak, and there found a 
carriage, with big Australian horses and a foot- 
man, waiting for us. We piled our luggage into a 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 373 

near-by sado, and as no one else appeared to 
claim the carriage, we trusted to luck that the 
Baron had sent it for us and so jumped in and 
rolled off, leaving quite a crowd of villagers gaz- 
ing after our departing glory. 

The drive to Sinagar took about an hour, and 
for the latter half of the time we drove through 
broad fields of tea-shrubs. A last dash down a 
shady avenue brought us to the Baron's steps, 
and we dismounted to meet a warm greeting 
from our host, under the inspection of a gor- 
geous peacock, perched on the railings, and a 
cage of Australian wallabies near-by. 

I did intend to write Sinagar up for you in de- 
tail, but I have decided that I will keep that for 
reserve material after I reach home. Suffice it to 
say that the place is ideal: gardens and lawns 
surround the group of porch-connected buildings 
which make the residence; rare birds of all 
shapes and colors fill the aviaries in the big court- 
yard ; beyond the rose garden is an open stone 
swimming-pool, bordered with a mass of palms 
and poinsettias. The feature of the house itself 
is a great hall, at one end of which the meals are 
served. This hall is decorated with heads, ant- 
lers, python skins, savage spears and weapons 
from Borneo and Bali, tables of elephant skulls, 



374 LETTERS OF 

and innumerable trophies of the master's skill. 
Four elephants, five tigers, seven rhinoceroses, 
eighteen wild bulls, and many deer, leopards, and 
v^ild boar, have fallen to his gun, w^hich the na- 
tives regard v^ith awe, and address by an honor- 
able title. In the stables are Arab and Australian 
horses (at one time as many as ninety), from 
which we took our pick for the morning ride over 
the endless acres of tea. There is also a pond for 
wild duck and waterfowl. 

The plantation lies at a trifle over two thou- 
sand feet in altitude, so it is cool and pleasant, 
both day and night. On its several thousand 
acres live three thousand people, over whom the 
Baron rules as absolutely as a native prince. 
They give to him the same reverence and sa- 
laams that they would give to a native ruler, and 
in return he is a father to the whole community, 
settling all disputes, even to the most intimate 
and religious questions. He pays them well, 
cares for them when they are ill or in trouble, 
and even goes to great expense to amuse them, 
maintaining a troupe of native dancers and play- 
ers to perform in the Httle villages scattered over 
the place. At his house is a big phonograph; 
while in a corner of the factory is a fine bio- 
graph ^machine, which he brought back from 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 375 

Europe two years ago. The native houses are as 
neat and clean as our farmers' houses at home. 
White basket-weave is the material, and some 
have bamboo verandahs and neat cloth curtains 
at the windows, and all are half buried in flowers 
and vines. 

Sinagar is eighty years old, and its first master 
introduced tea-culture into Java. They are still 
picking from the first plants on the island, vet- 
erans of eighty years. We went through the fac- 
tory several times, and rode over the plantation 
with Von H , so we have a complete know- 
ledge of tea-culture and manufacture, from plant- 
ing to packing. One milHon pounds and over of 
tea are exported every year from Sinagar, one 
twenty-fifth of the production of Java. 

We left Sinagar early on Friday morning, and 
caught a boat from Batavia to Singapore the 
same night at ten, reaching Singapore Monday 
morning. 

On the boat were Mr. and Mrs. T from 

Australia, whom we had met three times before. 
They are delightful people, and are visiting the 

places that Mr. T saw on a bachelor trip 

many years ago. 

At Singapore, an interesting and beautiful city, 
but primitive as to stores in comparison with 



376 LETTERS OF 

Shanghai and Hong Kong, we spent our Christ- 
mas uneventfully, and on Christmas Eve I 
cabled you requesting an answer which has not 
yet arrived. 

Singapore is one of the busiest shipping ports 
in the world, and is the trade depot for the entire 
Malay Peninsula. It is practically a Chinese 
city, although Indians, Malays, and dozens of 
other races are met at every turn. 

We expected to go straight to Colombo, but 
there was no boat for almost a week and the 
local fare was excessive, so we decided to leave 
for Burmah on December 26th, as we found it 
was actually cheaper to reach India via Ran- 
goon. 

The T 's were again on our steamer, and 

we saw a great deal of them. There were also 
other interesting people: three young miners 
from Korea, and a fine young American with a 
Russian wife, a princess. He had been prospect- 
ing in Siberia all summer, and the Princess had 
been helping the cook at their camp and learning 
how to shoot big game. They were enthusiastic 
and are going back. Just now they are bound 
for Calcutta, where Lady M is going to en- 
tertain them in vice-regal splendor. 

We stayed overnight at Rangoon, and learned 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 377 

that Purdy and Scurve had not yet arrived. 
Tuesday evening v^e left for Mandalay, arriving 
here Wednesday afternoon. We have been here 
ever since (it is now Friday), but as yet no news 
of the boys. 

At Rangoon I found a telegram for Scurve, 
telling him to reach home by March ist. I 
cabled you again from Rangoon, requesting an 
answer. We have been invited to visit Hsipaw 
from here, in the Shan Hills, and will probably 
do so soon. 

This is just a skeleton letter; descriptions will 
follow. Suffice it to say that Burmah, although 
not so beautiful as Java, has much more charm. 
Your loving son, Gilbert. 



CHAPTER VI 

BURMAH 

Mandalay, January 5, 1908. 

Dear Famille, — This is a continuation of 
the same skeleton schedule of my actions, which 
I am sending by the same mail. Forgive me for 
the scanty and uninteresting form, but I will 
make it up in a day or so. Just now the spirit of 
description is not on me ; if I could only see you 
all face to face, I should talk you to death, but 
sometimes I get tired of this year-long one-sided 
conversation. 

Am. left this morning for the Shan Hills, but 
I am going to Bhamo, on the Chinese frontier, 
by the afternoon train, and there I shall stay 
until I get in touch with Purdy and Scurve, who 
are about two weeks overdue. Am. will join me 
there, unless they arrive in time to enable us to 
join him in Shan-land. 

We are now at the End of the World, and need 
the services of a boy to spread our beds, cook 
at times, and wait on us at table. Am. has an 
old Hindu named Ahmed-a-garry, and I have 
a Burmese youth who speaks six languages — 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 379 

Burmese, Tamil, Hindustani, Palaung, English, 
and a little Shan. He has never served a traveller 
before, so he is unspoiled. He was interpreter for 
a British general last year, and I am very lucky 
in his company. His name is Maung Tun. He 
wears a gorgeous red skirt, a white jacket, and 
a pink silk turban. He calls me master, and 
takes off his shoes when he enters my august pre- 
sence. Hoop-la ! 

I am writing on the hotel-porch, and at my 
elbow a monkey about eight inches high is en- 
gaged in slapping a dog's face and pulling his 
ears; the dog seems to Hke it. 

This is a city of pagodas and gorgeous, flimsy 
palaces. The days are cloudless and the nights 
cold. I am delighted v^ith it. 

If this letter contains but little information, it 
carries much love. 

I am more than ever interested in the Chinese 
problem, and would give a great deal to return 
that way. I have been seriously considering the 
matter, and if the Persian trip does not mate- 
rialize, on account of the present unrest there, I 
am strongly tempted to get Purdy to go back 
from Colombo with me. I should go straight to 
the Philippines, then either to Changsha or 
Pekin, where I should put in almost a month, 



38o LETTERS OF 

then home via Korea and Japan. I should reach 
home early in August. Europe is nearer than 
China, and grows nearer every year. Europe 
has an interest that lies in the great past, while 
China's interest lies in the great future. I also 
feel that I am now ready to visit the Philippines 
intelligently. These are my reasons in brief for 
thinking of the above plan. 

Now, father, although it would be a sacrifice 
to give up Europe, full, as it will be next summer, 
of my old college friends, the biggest sacrifice 
would be giving up your company. 

Could you join me either at the Philippines or 
at Shanghai ? If it is within the limits of possi- 
bility for you to join me on such a trip, please 
cable me at Bombay the word "Possible," or in 
the opposite case the word "Impossible," and 
accordingly I will make my plans; also please 
write, as soon as you can, exactly what you think 
of the affair. I am sincerely concerned about 
this question, for I am more anxious than I can 
tell you to make the best use of my time, and I 
strongly desire your free and detailed advice, 
which I shall welcome equally whatever it be. 
Do be sure to send both wire and letter, care 
T. Cook, Bombay. 

Your loving son, Gilbert. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 381 

Bhamo, Burmah, 
January 7, 1908. 

Dear Ones, — At Singapore we spent our 
Christmas day very pleasantly, but very quietly, 
and v^ith constant thoughts of what "they are 
doing at home at just this moment." 

We were not quite alone, for the T 's 

were with us, and we met four San Francisco 
ladies who are travelling together. Christmas 
Eve we all attended midnight mass at the 
Catholic Cathedral, and saw a very impressive 
service, with an Archbishop as the leading at- 
traction. 

The street-life furnishes the chief interest in 
Singapore, and the Botanical Gardens and the 
Reservoir make charming drives, while a half- 
day is sufficient to see the capital city of the Sul- 
tan of Jahore on the near mainland. Singapore 
roads are excellent : the hard soil takes on a sur- 
face like an asphalt pavement, and gleams bright 
red, in contrast to the banks of heavy green on 
either side. The city is only one degree above the 
Equator, so the foliage is much like that of Java; 
and, strange to say, the temperature during our 
four days' stay was a mild, pleasant 80 degrees 
in the shade. 

Singapore is of course in the Malay country. 



382 LETTERS OF 

but, although there are many Malays there, the 
Chinese predominate; there are ten thousand 
rickshaw coolies alone ; and during our stay we 
were served at table, waited on in stores, Oifices, 
and banks, and pulled through the streets by 
Chinamen alone ! My admiration for the indus- 
try of this race is still increasing, and their per- 
sonaHty attracts me more, the more I see of it. I 
do hope that father cables me the word "Pos- 
sible," and then writes that he will meet me in 
Shanghai or Nagasaki on, say, June ist, prepared 
for a look into China and Korea, which, by the 
way, is the only foreign country where Ameri- 
can enterprise, capital, and prestige outweigh 
that of any other country; I have so much to 
talk over with father, — theories, the knowledge 
I have acquired this year, law school, — I do 
hope he will come. 

The ocean trip up the Bay of Bengal, past 
Penang and the Andaman Islands, was very 
pleasant. Smooth seas and sunny days and a 
freshness in the air that we had forgotten in the 
moisture-laden air of the equatorial regions. 

On Thursday we sailed, and on Monday we 
awoke in the Rangoon River, with the low allu- 
vial banks of the Irriwaddy Delta about us. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 383 



RANGOON 

Burmah forms a part of British India ac- 
cording to law, but from the point of view of 
plain common sense, it is no nearer India than 
is Pekin. The Burmese people are light in 
color, they call themselves a white race, are 
distinctly a Mongoloid people, and should be 
grouped with the Siamese and the inhabitants 
of Cochin China. 

As we drew near to Rangoon, the first object 
that lifted itself above the level land about us 
was the golden spire of the Schwe' Dagon Pagoda, 
and the next distinctive feature was the elephants 
piling teak-logs along the shore. If one of these 
beasts has a log balanced on his tusks in mid- 
air, and the breakfast gong sounds, down with 
the log, and off he trots to be fed. 

Rangoon is broad-streeted and dusty, and has 
a new, unfinished appearance everywhere, except 
in the hotels, which appear to be of about the 
same date as the First Crusade. The population 
is even more cosmopolitan than in Singapore, 
and Klings, Tamils, Bengalis, Punjabis, Sikhs, 
Ghurkas, Jews, Chinese, Arabs, Armenians, 
Malays, Shans, Karens, Persians, and Singha- 



384 LETTERS OF 

lese jostle one another in the noisy streets, where 
barbers and cooks ply their trades on the curb, 
and every third shopkeeper is reading aloud out 
of the Koran. The strange fact is that about one 
man in a hundred is a Burmese ! — south India 
has seized the town. 

Rangoon is gradually completing the most 
beautiful park in the East, Dalhousie Park, and 
in connection with it is a chain of ponds called 

the Royal Lakes. We drove out with theT 's 

to see sunset across the Lakes, and it seemed 
as though all Rangoon had done the same, for 
there was a great concourse of carriages, with 
Indian syces and footmen> We drove back by 
way of the Gymkhana Club, where they were just 
completing an afternoon dance, which attraction 
we successfully resisted. From every turn we 
saw the sunset gleaming on the golden pagoda, 
Schwe' Dagon. 

As Sir William Scott says, " for every one that 
does not earn his bread there, Rangoon is the 
City of the Pagoda." It stands on a small hill in 
a pretty suburb of the town, and dominates the 
surrounding country as the cathedral spires dom- 
inate Cologne. It was commenced hundreds of 
years before Christ, and when the Parthenon was 
built, it was a simple dagoba of earth and stone. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 385 

about twenty odd feet high. Now It reaches 
a slender spire upwards for three hundred 
and sixty feet, and around its base are terraces 
and arcades, crowds of temples, and enshrined 
Buddhas; beneath are eight hairs of Gautama 
himself, and the begging or praying bowl, staff, 
and robe of the three former Buddhas of long- 
vanished worlds. Its graceful, swelling sides are 
covered with gold-leaf, and the spire is sheeted 
with solid gold, while the hti or umbrella-top is 
hung vdth rubies and precious stones, which 
sometimes send their gleams way down to earth 
where the worshippers crowd the lower terraces. 
There are three of these narrowing circles of 
grass and trees, before you reach the broad stone 
terrace at the pagoda's base, and covered stair- 
ways and arcades, crowded with flower-stalls 
and relic-stands or confectioners' booths, line 
the sides. Behind each stall sits a Burmese girl 
or woman clad in pale-hued silks, a flower over 
one ear, a gold brooch or chain at the neck, a 
small cigarette stuck through her pierced ear, 
and a white club of tobacco eight inches long 
held to her lips with lazy grace, while she sends 
clouds of smoke curling among the gilt pillars 
of the passage. These Burmese women are the 
business men of the country. 



386 LETTERS OF 

Before the booths a constant stream of wor- 
shippers travels up and down, and in its eddies 
are borne along the strangest people from all 
countries of the earth. Now and then a Bur- 
mese priest, a poonghee, walks slowly by in a 
Roman toga of saffron color, his right arm and 
shoulder bare, and a big palm-leaf fan in his 
hand, to shield his eyes whenever a pretty girl 
passes by; a whole race of St. Anthonys, these 
poonghees. 

Every entrance and each successive flight of 
steps is guarded by immense white leogryphs 
with red eyes, beasts twice the size of a big ele- 
phant and very fierce, to frighten all the devils 
who might come poking about. 

The main platform has one broad, clear pas- 
sage all around it; the side towards the pagoda 
is a cluster of small spires and pagodas, shrines 
and altars, and the outer edge is a labyrinth 
of temples, big and little, three and four deep, 
with Buddhas of marble and Buddhas of brass 
and Buddhas of gold and porcelain; all sizes of 
Buddha, from four inches to twenty feet high; 
black-faced Buddhas, yellow-faced Buddhas, 
and white-faced Buddhas with cherry red lips. 
Around the temple-cornices little doll-figures are 
suffering the torments of hell, and other doll- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 387 

figures are fleeing over the temple roofs pursued 
by grinning devils. The crowd in the open pas- 
sage is gay v^ith flowers and jewels (for not even 
a pauper in Burmah will wear imitation trinkets) 
and soft-colored silks. The temples and shrines 
on each side gleam and glisten in the rich sun- 
light, for their pillars and open halls and fantas- 
tic roofs are aHve with gold and glass mosaic. 
The tinkle of wind-bells on the eaves and htis, 
the deep boom of gongs struck with a deer's 
antler, and the merry talk and laughter of the 
crowd, make up the voice of the Schwe' Dagon. 
And out of the glittering chaos the great Pagoda 
rises like a tongue of flame into the dark, infinite 
blue above. 



388 LETTERS OF 



MANDALAY 

Twenty hours on the Burmah railway from 
Rangoon to Mandalay, the capital of Upper Bur- 
mah, a city whose age is less than that of many of 
its inhabitants, but which has won for itself a 
place in history and literature, and in the romantic 
imaginings of every westerner who thinks at all 
of the Orient, all in its short half-century of life. 

It was quite the fashion for Burmese kings to 
build a new capital, just as the old mikados did 
in Japan, and about the year 1857 (reference- 
books are not at hand) Mandalay was built 
according to the old approved rules for capital 
cities. The palace in the centre; walls so many 
paces in length, gates at such and such intervals, 
towers so many cubits high. Under each tower 
it was customary to bury alive a virgin or an un- 
tattooed boy; but the king who built Mandalay 
thought that the hearts of his subjects made a 
stronger foundation for his throne than did their 
bodies, so the sacrifice was probably omitted, 
although accounts differ on this point. The old 
palace was in part removed to Mandalay, and 
hundreds of pagodas were built v^ithin and with- 
out the city walls. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 389 

Here good King Mindon ruled for many years, 
and when he died, the machinations of one of 
his wives placed Thibaw, one of the least signifi- 
cant of his twoscore sons, on the throne. Thibaw 
was a weak, attractive boy, and he dearly loved 
Supayalat, whom he straightway married. The 
fair bride was jealous, and instead of enjoying 
the company of thirty or forty dearly beloveds, 
Thibaw was forced to limit his affections to his 
first love. Under her advice and that of her 
mother, who was an old fox, Thibaw had all 
of his brothers and sisters, a goodly company, 
put to the sword and buried in a big pit. After 
three days the heap began to swell and rise, and 
Thibaw sent his elephants to tread it down 
again. For seven years Thibaw and Supayalat 
never left the golden palace. The British repre- 
sentatives were treated with scant courtesy, the 
country was overrun with robbers and petty 
pretenders, but Thibaw reclined at ease in the 
geometrical centre of his perfectly proportioned 
capital, until the British came, took him pris- 
oner, and annexed his misgoverned country. 
Thibaw and Supayalat are still living in a quiet 
Indian fortress town, and they are only an irri- 
table, querulous old couple. Alas for the glory 
of the Peacock Throne ! 



390 LETTERS OF 

There is a great deal of empty space in Man- 
dalay; quiet bungalows stand in the solitary 
midst of five-acre squares, and the broad, dusty 
roads are bordered with trees and grass like the 
roomiest of country turnpikes. Most of the 
houses and all of the business lie outside the city 
walls, which now enclose only the palace, the 
club. Fort Dufferin, and vast park-stretches, 
dotted with pagodas and now and then a bun- 
galow. 

Except for the great Bazaar, however, all 
travellers' interest in Mandalay centres about 
these empty walls. They are so unlike anything 
else in the world, and have nothing in common 
with the grim-walled cities of China or of North- 
ern Europe. Everything at Mandalay was built 
for effect, because the natural course of events 
would have created a new capital before a cen- 
tury had passed, and there was no need to build 
for posterity. The walls are not very high, and 
they are of a deep pink brick, with a crenellated 
top. On each side are three gates with towers 
and buttresses of brilliant white. At frequent 
intervals pagoda-like towers, with delicate spires 
and bells and curved eaves, rise lightly from the 
battlements. Trees mass their rich green tops 
behind, and a broad, clear moat full of lotus- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 391 

flowers surrounds it all, spanned by white 
bridges leading to the central gate on each side. 
The scene lighted by the clear, soft sun of Bur- 
mese winter is beautiful indeed. 

The palace is of wood, and seems at first a 
jungle of spires and curved roofs, open audience- 
halls and pillared porches ; but in reality the plan 
is simple. The Burmese throne was a round 
pedestal against the wall, high above the floor, 
and shaped like a lotus-flower. The King en- 
tered through latticed doors of gold at the back, 
and sat cross-legged on the brilliant flower, while 
all the nobles and princes prostrated themselves 
among the pillars of the Audience-Hall. Every- 
thing is of w^ood and gilt and glass, and rickety 
walls give an impression that is, at the same 
time, magnificent and tawdry, — but fascinating, 
fascinating. 

That is a strange quaHty that is innate in 
everything that touches Burmah, for, with all its 
dry and dusty stretches, the land breathes charm 
and leaves you always longing for more. Tropi- 
cal Java with all its wealth of life and vegetation 
satisfied you. I have seen Java, and to revisit it 
would be pleasant, but I do not long to revisit it, 
nor did I feel a real pang at leaving, although 
there were many things I should have enjoyed 



392 LETTERS OF 

doing there. It may be because Java is so com- 
plete. All its problems are solved, its gentle peo- 
ple present no great possibilities, they are merely 
a very, very pleasant race; but Burmah, China, 
and Japan are alive, and the thought that you 
must leave them there with a hundred ques- 
tions unanswered, dozens of problems unsolved, 
and their attractions barely tasted, grips you 
with a feeling strong as homesickness, a true 
pang. 

I have talked lately with numerous travellers 
from India, and I am strengthened in my belief 
that, while I would not miss India for worlds, and 
while months could be spent there with profit, 
we shall only be able to visit the famous build- 
ings and temples and the usual native capitals 
in our Hmited time, so I regret all the more leav- 
ing a place like Burmah, which fulfils exacdy the 
requirements I desire. It is not a country of 
lotus-eaters, although the Burman is the lightest- 
hearted of all men. It is a rich, hustling, unde- 
veloped treasure-land. Ruby-mines, jade-mines, 
teak lumber-camps, gold-nugget fields, and gold- 
dredging operations, are crying out to be visited ; 
a score of kindly wild peoples on the border-land 
are waiting patiently to be named, classified, 
studied, and civilized; the Burmese are flocking 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 393 

to school and calling for the best the West can 
give, and as side-issues there are ruined cities and 
wild-river gorges, caves and palaces, a laughing, 
silk-clad population, forests teeming with tigers, 
elephants, rhinos, leopards, and monkeys, to 
lend interest to every square mile, and the glori- 
ous light and cool winter air transfiguring every 
hour of the day. Again let me wish that I had 
planned to spend my whole year among the Mon- 
goloid people of Asia ! 

At Mandalay we again saw the T 's and 

met many pleasant people, travellers and resi- 
dents. With one man I had a very valuable talk 
on Colonial Government and the Philippines, 
and our ideas coincided beautifully. I discovered 
later that he is Professor of Colonial Govern- 
ment at Columbia. 

As we could learn nothing of the boys in China, 
we separated at Mandalay. Am. has gone for a 
short trip into Shan-land, and I have come north 
to Bhamo to discover the whereabouts of Purdy 
and Scurve. 

The missionaries and telegraph officials have 
been very kind, and yesterday I discovered 
through missionary letters that the boys sepa- 
rated on December 5th, Scurve going south from 
Yunnan-fu to Tonkin, in Cochin China, and 



394 LETTERS OF 

Purdy continuing to Bhamo. I was a little wor- 
ried about him, as he is overdue, until I received 
a telegram from a British official at Tengueh in 
China, saying that he had left that place for 
Bhamo on the day before. He is due here in six 
days, and I am going to start for China to-morrow 
and surprise him on the border. I am taking 
four mules, two China boys, and my Burmese 
boy, who is a treasure. Our road is as broad as 
Michigan Avenue and has a telegraph wire 
alongside, so don't worry. My, but Purdy will 
be surprised ! He thinks I am in Ceylon ! If I 
have time to-night, I will take up the tale at 
Mandalay and tell you how I got here and what 
Bhamo is like; if not, I shall do so on my return, 
in six or seven days. I have a good incident to 
tell you : it is called "The Adventure of the Bur- 
mese Bishop." 

Loads of love and more loads of the same. I 
am quite well and am among good American 
missionaries, so don't worry. 

Gilbert. 

Mandalay, January 19. 
Dear Mother, — Here is the tale I pro- 
mised you in my last letter. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 395 



THE ADVENTURE OF THE BURMESE BISHOP 

We little know when an adventure is going 
to befall us, and it was with no thought of 
anything but an uncomfortable railway journey 
that I boarded the train at Mandalay, bound for 
Bhamo. Usually the trip to Bhamo is made by 
steamer up the Irrawaddy, but it takes about 
five days, and, as I was going north to find the 
whereabouts of Purdy on the great China cara- 
van-route, I felt that I must choose the quicker 
and less pleasant route by rail to Katha, and 
then by steamer for twenty-four hours. In an 
access of economy I bought a second-class ticket, 
which is unwise when you are about to spend 
the night on a frontier railway train. 

I crossed the Irrawaddy by ferry, and climbed 
the sandy bank to the village of Sagaing, with its 
ruined pagodas and its shady streets. 

At first I was alone in my compartment, but, 
as the shadows were lengthening, we pulled up 
at a tiny place, where a Japanese in the railroad 
company's employ was waiting to blast my hopes 
of privacy. He was a pleasant chap, however, 
and as there are two six-foot seats in each com- 
partment, I did not mind. 

Just at sunset, however, the Bishop appeared. 



396 LETTERS OF 

First came a coolie with two rolls of matting. 
Then a Httle Shan boy, perhaps thirteen years 
old, and then the Reverend Sir. We did not know 
what a deHghtful old man he would prove to be, 
and we did not enthuse over his advent. He was 
dressed in the simple flowing robes of the poon- 
ghee, and one wasted arm and side were bare. 
Over his shoulder was a heavy yellow cloak, the 
same shade as his robe. His head was small and 
close-cropped, his throat was withered, and his 
skull looked out through the tight, wrinkled skin 
of his face ; but his eyes were Hke black beads and 
his teeth were white and even. At the corners of 
his mouth were deep smile-wrinkles, and he gazed 
at the coolie and the world in general with an 
all-embracing smile that showed every tooth. He 
tittered audibly as he settled himself, reclining at 
length on one elbow; he tittered as the coolie 
withdrew backwards; he tittered when the Shan 
boy placed a jar of holy water on a wreath of 
rushes on the floor. Then he looked at us, and 
remarked in Burmese that he was going to a fu- 
neral at Katha — and tittered. He seemed a little 
nervous, and his whole manner was apologetic. 
" I am sorry that I must take up so much room," 
he seemed to say, and every time the train jolted, 
he tittered towards us, as if it were all his fault 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 397 

and he would try to prevent it next time. He 
must have been eighty years old. 

The Shan boy, who was almost as pretty as 
a girl, curled up at the Bishop's feet, and looked 
reflectively across the car, as though he did not 
know whether it was quite wise to be friendly 
or no. After about an hour he evidently decided 
that it was wise, and broke the ice by grinning 
broadly. He wore a gray coat and yellow silk 
skirt, and his hair was coiled in a little knot 
on the top of his head, v^th a narrow ring of 
bare scalp around it, and a fringe around that 
like the fringe of hair on a Japanese doll. He 
wore gold earrings, and his arms were tattooed 
in red. 

As the evening wore on, it grew very cold in 
our draughty compartment, and our compan- 
ions both suffered visibly, for the Bishop's sheet- 
like robe was his only covering, and the bare 
brown skin of the Shan boy showed between his 
skirt and jacket; but the Bishop tittered merrily 
through his chattering teeth, and meditated on 
the emptiness of life in general and the glories 
of Nirvana. When his old legs grew numb with 
cold, he stretched them out on the seat and the 
boy massaged them with his elbows. The poon- 
ghees never give a direct command to their boys 



398 LETTERS OF 

for food or service, but when they wish anything, 
they repeat the formula, "Do what is lawful," 
and the boy guesses at the need. 

That night I gave the Bishop one of my blan- 
kets, and he kindly accepted it, that I might re- 
ceive the credit in Heaven for a good deed ; but 
he only spread it over his feet, and preferred to 
show his contempt for fleshly feelings by shiv- 
ering the night through. The boy slept under a 
corner of my own rug, curled about my feet. It 
was a long night, and several times I was dimly 
conscious that the train had stopped at a station, 
and that there were people in the carriage, to 
whom the Bishop was talking. Pious lay villagers 
who had waited up all night for a word with 
him while the train stopped at their station ; for 
the good people of this country honor their priests, 
and, unlike the Buddhist monks of other coun- 
tries, the Burmese poonghees merit this respect. 
They lead chaste, austere lives, and teach boys 
at their monasteries; in fact, every Burmese 
boy becomes a poonghee for a period varying 
fro one to seven days, and until he has passed 
through the brief novitiate, he is not esteemed a 
man. The monks live entirely on charity, but 
they never return thanks for any service or for the 
most lordly gift, for the layman who assists them 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 399 

acquires merit by the act, and the acceptance of 
any service by them is in itself a favor. 

As yet I had not suspected that our companion 
was other than an ordinary priest, so simple did 
his wants seem and so meagre his possessions, 
and I thought of giving the boy a few pice with 
which to buy him food for breakfast; but early 
in the morning the train was boarded by two 
poonghees, an Indian and a Kachin, who had 
come two hours by train to meet him; and the 
carriage was piled with fruit and cakes and tea- 
pots and hot rice which the villagers had pre- 
pared, and instead of being allowed to cast my 
pice upon the waters, I shared the monk's break- 
fast at the public expense. 

During the morning the old gentleman plied 
me with questions about my country and why 
I had come to his land, and when I told him 
that I was wandering about the world because 
it brought me happiness and knowledge, he 
thought that I must be a sort of poonghee my- 
self. 

I learned that he was journeying to the monas- 
tery called Sapandye at Katha, to attend the 
burning of the body of an old friend, another 
bishop, who had been dead a year, preserved in 
honey. This cremation ceremony is one of the 



400 LETTERS OF 

most elaborate of festivals and would be well 
worth going miles to see, but unfortunately for 
me, it was to take place several weeks later. 

When we arrived at Katha on the banks of the 
Irrawaddy, the whole village was at the station. 
Here the Bishop was revealed to us as a mighty 
man instead of a poor shivering monk, but his 
manner never changed. He appeared at the car- 
riage door, feeble and stooping in his yellow 
draperies, and every one on the platform knelt. 
He descended the steps, a little insignificant old 
man, and two youths sprang forward with gold 
umbrellas which they held over him. His feet 
were not allowed to touch the common soil, for 
kneeling maidens spread their delicate silk scarfs 
before him ; and down the shimmering path they 
made for him he walked gingerly, tittering the 
while, as though he would say, "These silly peo- 
ple ! Do excuse them ; they are only children and 
must have their fun ! " 

The last I saw of him was a huddled yellow 
figure seated on a rude station bench, which had 
been covered with silken robes, two gold um- 
brellas behind him, the ground about him piled 
with presents and offerings, and the population 
of Katha kneeling before him in an adoring semi- 
circle. Just as I was boarding my steamer for 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 401 

Bhamo, the Shan boy came running down the 
bank with a big bunch of bananas, a final pre- 
sent from my friend the Bishop. 



The trip up river was very pleasant. I was 
the only passenger, and all day long I sat in the 
bows, watching the changing banks. Tiny vil- 
lages alternated with long stretches of jungle. 
Porpoises rolled about in the shallows near shore, 
and strange waterfowl of all shapes 2lnd colors 
were thick as flies, or as Burmese pagodas, which 
adorn every knoll from Thibet to Arakan. Great 
rafts with little huts built on them floated past 
us, and canoes came slowly out from shore, fight- 
ing the current to discharge passengers on our 
lower deck. Once I saw two huge elephants 
taking a bath, and again a dusty baby Jumbo 
burst through the grass at the top of the bank 
and raced madly along the shore, with a halloo- 
ing youngster astride his neck. 

Before reaching Bhamo we passed one night 
tied up alongshore, and traversed the second 
defile of the river, which is pretty and interesting, 
but not at all magnificent. 

Bhamo is a straggling village, full of Hindus, 
Mohammedans, and Wild Kachins from the big 



402 LETTERS OF 

hills nine miles to the east. The Burman is not 
much in evidence. There is a regiment of Sikhs 
here, and there are several government offices 
and mission headquarters, and numerous ruined 
pagodas and monasteries are scattered through 
the town. As Bhamo is the end or beginning 
of the great overland route to China, there are 
many Celestials Hving there, and passing in and 
out with dusty mule- trains. 

My next yarn will be entitled "The Road to 
China," which I have travelled and returned 
from in safety. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 403 



THE ROAD TO CHINA 

January 17, 1908. 

Dear Helen, — At first I had wanted to take 
a cook, but Maung Tun said he could cook bet- 
ter than any rural Bhamo chef. I had wanted 
an interpreter, but Maung Tun said that I could 
talk English to him, he could talk Burmese to 
the mule-driver, who could talk Chinese or Ka- 
chin as need arose. I had intended to secure a 
guide, but Maung Tun said that if he could n*t 
find the way, I need n't pay him his wages for a 
week. I had greatly desired three mules and a 
pony for my outfit, but Maung Tun would not 
let me spend the money, and allowed me only 
two mules and a pony. Maung Tun stayed up 
late on Monday night to roast a chicken, which 
he persuaded the dak bungalow chowdikar to 
slaughter for him, and he arose before light on 
Tuesday morning to cook a strange meat-cake, 
which he called "side-dish." 

"Some men are eating this side-dish for their 
tiffin, sir," he said with a pitying smile, when I 
asked concerning its use and aim in life. 

Maung Tun is only eighteen, and he has never 
served as a traveller's boy before, but he is Solo- 



404 LETTERS OF 

mon and Nestor and the Encyclopaedia Britan- 
nica in one. 

My outfit was furnished by Mr. Fan Ta Sho, 
a portly Celestial, loaded with gold seals and 
speaking no English. He drove up to the bunga- 
low at six in the morning to see me off, and he 
charged me only twice as much as I ought to 
have paid, so I can recommend him heartily as a 
Furnisher of Mules. At seven o'clock we moved 
through the bungalow gate. An indifferent yel- 
low pony bore me past the familiar fence-posts, 
at about the speed at which a Swiss glacier trav- 
els. Maung Tun rode an animal whose father 
might have been a hippopotamus, and whose 
mother was undoubtedly a door-mat. The third 
creature was concealed beneath piles of bedding 
and canned food, so that it was impossible to 
surmise its nationality and antecedents. 

We moved off down the highroad through a 
cold morning mist, and I was quite startled by 
a tall white dagoba, which suddenly appeared 
like a ghost at the roadside. Three little boys 
marched by on their way to school, singing at the 
top of their voices. Then the mist cleared slowly 
as the sun grew hotter, and we saw that we were 
fairly started for the hills. 

For nine miles the road was straight and level, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 405 

with imposing teak trees rising on all sides, 
straight as pillars, to a height of over a hundred 
feet. A short way out of Bhamo there is a sign- 
post by the roadside, on which one may read the 
legend, "To the Chinese Frontier." Imagine 
how you would feel if you were strolling along a 
country lane near home and asked a passer-by, 
"Where does this road lead I" and received the 
answer, " To China " ! 

The broad highway was quite populous this 
morning, and a stream of people passed us bound 
for market. Ox-carts there were in plenty, with 
spindle-shanked Indians crouching on them, 
showing off the ugly blackness of their skins by 
wearing draperies of white or red, and hanging 
gold-rings in the sides of their noses. Several 
Northern Indians with long coats, towering tur- 
bans, and canes, strolled past us, followed by 
a whole family of Burmese in hoHday attire, 
bumping merrily along in a boat-shaped festival- 
cart drawn by two trotting oxen with humps and 
swinging dewlaps. An old man was wending a 
snaiFs way to Bhamo, driving a black pig. Be- 
hind the pig's ears was a collar of wooden sticks, 
to which was fastened the string held by the old 
man. It never seemed to occur to the pig that 
the quickest way to Bhamo was to walk straight 



4o6 LETTERS OF 

ahead, for it made expeditions to the right and 
to the left with mechanical regularity. These 
embryo explorations were nipped by the tap of 
a switch, and the pig's master talked to it cease- 
lessly, as one talks to a very small child. I have 
often wondered whether the old man ever lived 
to reach Bhamo, for he had five miles more to go. 
Kachins and Shans added interest and variety 
to the life of the road, and here and there a pig- 
tail and a dash of blue — the old, ugly, sober, 
national blue of China — recalled the legend 
of the sign-post and gave it life and meaning. 

The big trees increased in frequency as we 
drew nearer to the hills, and their huge, perfect 
columns dwarfed the approaching ox-carts and 
loaded coolies to mere toys, and the occasional 
refreshment booths, where old women sell the 
pink and green syrups so dear to Oriental taste, 
were doll-houses, nothing more. 

Before noon we passed through a fair-sized 
village of perhaps a hundred houses, all built on 
stilts. The inhabitants seemed to be Kachins, 
with a mixture of Burmese and Shans, and many 
were in Burmese costume. An elephant was 
busily piling logs in a vacant lot, and the drone 
of boys studying aloud floated out of the doors 
and windows of the village monastery. There 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 407 

was a small, tawdry pagoda of gilt and plaster, 
and a group of tall poles with flapping streamers 
stood in the monastery enclosure. 

The hills rose quite close at hand now, and our 
road turned north, so that we travelled with 
them on our right. The teak trees grew farther 
and farther apart, and great clumps of bamboo, 
giant bamboo, threw delicate plumes across the 
roadway. The leaf of the bamboo is so tiny that 
at a distance this foliage seemed a beautiful green 
mist with the rich sunlight filtering through, and 
when the clumps were detached enough to show 
the entire outline, they looked like spraying foun- 
tains or huge bouquets. 

While we were eating tiffin by the roadside, 
a black buffalo with magnificent horns, fully six 
feet from tip to tip, came slowly down the the- 
atrical roadway, stopping now and then to sniff 
at us. At a distance of about one hundred yards 
he charged away into the bamboo-jungle, at right 
angles to the road. I confess it gave me a Httle 
start, five minutes later, to see his eyes and those 
great horns of his gleaming through the leaves at 
the roadside, not ten feet away. These beasts 
from whom a tiger will run, and who in a wild 
state are considered a close third to the elephant 
and rhinoceros for dangerous ferocity, have an 



4o8 LETTERS OF 

extreme dislike for the smell of a white man, and 
will often charge as soon as they catch his scent; 
and although I have passed close to the nose of 
many a water-buffalo without offending his deli- 
cate nostrils, I have heard so many tales at first 
hand of adventures with them that I like to 
keep to leeward if possible. This fellow was 
merely curious, however, and soon crashed away 
through the trees. 

After tiffin I walked for nine or ten miles and 
left the outfit far behind; there was not much 
travel at this point, and except for a few small 
parties of Kachins, who stole quietly by in their 
barbaric red and blue clothes, with swords across 
their breasts or backs, and bows and arrows in 
hand, I had the road quite to myself. The foliage 
grew more and more dense, and the arch of 
graceful fronds was thirty to fifty feet above 
my head. The road was like a painted vista, 
so fresh were the colors of forest and sky and so 
regular the patches and fretwork of shadow; a 
painted scene of blue and green and gold. There 
was no sound except the creaking of bamboo- 
stems as they swayed or rubbed gently against 
each other, the murmur of frequent streams, 
and the incessant music of bird-calls. The birds 
here were more numerous and beautiful than I 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 409 

have ever seen them in one place before. Great 
blue and white birds with long tails, vn\d doves, 
tiny flitting things, that gleamed Hke rubies and 
sapphires, flaming orioles, flocks of yellow birds 
that filled a whole bamboo-clump and made it 
look as though heavy with golden fruit, enchanted 
fruit that sang and kept flitting from branch to 
branch. There was, moreover, a red bird that 
darted through the greenery Hke a live coal, and 
a friendly little creature, something like a quail, 
that kept running along just ahead of me. Tip- 
ups ran along the stream-banks, and birds with 
curly bills and long necks balanced with open 
wings on the tree-stubs of the larger waterways. 
Every tiny clearing — there were only three or 
four — had its solemn regiment of white egrets 
that walked about the buff*aloes, solemn as drill- 
sergeants, pretending they were managing the 
great beasts, and long-legged brown things who 
contemplated the distance with their heads sunk 
between their shoulders. High up in the stainless 
blue there were always two or three hawks and 
kites, saiHng round and round on motionless, out- 
spread wings. And like the Vice of the old Moral- 
ities, the Launcelot Gobbo of the feathered world, 
screamed and blustered the ubiquitous crow. 
At the point where the road turns again towards 



410 LETTERS OF 

the east and enters the hills, I remounted and we 
climbed several hundred feet, with the clamor 
of a distant troop of monkeys sounding in our 
ears. Avery fair bridge bore us over a wild rocky 
river-gorge, and another climb up a road or path, 
full of boulders and torn and broken as though 
it had been blasted with dynamite, brought us 
to a low saddle of the first range of hills, where 
stands the dak bungalow called Kalenkyet, or, 
as it is pronounced, Kalengchet. Here we un- 
loaded for the night; I had expected a small vil- 
lage like the village of Mornauk, which we had 
passed through during the morning, but here 
was only the bungalow and a big crystal spring. 
To the north and south rose higher hills of the 
range on which we stood. To the west was 
level forest country, leading off towards the blaz- 
ing evening sky. To the east a deep valley, com- 
mencing at our very feet, led the eye over fine 
forests, past a series of mountain buttresses, 
where it cut through several parallel ranges to a 
high mountain-shoulder that closed its upper end, 
beyond which lay China. The whole scene lay 
bathed in a rich glow, full of purple shadows, and 
the distant mountain was tinged with rose which 
faded slowly. While the sunset tints were still at 
their brightest, the sky above grew black and the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 411 

stars leaped into view, and the red glare of the 
open fire in the cook-shed threw Maung Tun's 
shadow far out into the night, reminding me that 
I had still to taste a first sample of his cooking. 

The bungalows on this road are built by the 
Burmah PubHc Works Department, and they are 
all exactly alike — two bedrooms and a larger 
room to sit in, built of whitewashed matting, and 
standing stifF-legged about four feet above the 
ground. They are usually in charge of a Hindu 
chowdikar, who furnishes cooking-pots if the 
traveller does not carry his own. The charge is 
a nominal one of one rupee a night, a bare bed- 
stead being furnished you, for in India and Bur- 
mah all travellers carry their own bedding. 

The first sign of dinner was a glass of water 
borne in by my Chinese muleteer, a jovial soul, 
who was so used to calling to his mules that 
he prefaced and concluded all his human con- 
versations with a mule-call like the whistle of a 
steam-calliope; the effect was startHng at first, 
but I think its producer was quite unconscious 
of the habit. He shambled into the bungalow 
with a sheepish grin, bare-legged, with his broad 
trousers cut off below the knee and his flapping 
straw hat still on his head. He bore the glass 
gingerly in both hands, and wrapped about it 



412 LETTERS OF 

were several yards of cotton cloth. I thought 
at first he had brought me hot water, but inquiry 
discovered that he had merely been afraid of 
soiling the glass. Maung Tun next came with 
a cup of tea, which looked as though a cyclone 
had been playing with it. Cup and saucer were 
covered with white lumps, and others floated 
about in the tea. The cream had curdled, and 
had all come out of the tin at once; all of the tins 
were the same, so we had a week of milkless tea 
and porridge to look forward to. The butter was 
the next disappointment. It was so rancid that 
even a determined washing merely alleviated, but 
could not remove, the hair-oil flavor. A chicken 
and some eggs purchased from the chowdikar 
did much to help out the meal, however. 

On the road one should never attempt to do 
anything but walk, eat, and sleep. Having suc- 
cessfully accomplished the first two operations, I 
proceeded to the third with equal distinction. 

The night was bitterly cold and the morning 
bath almost took my breath away, but we were 
up and off in good season. I walked all morning 
down a cool, shady road, that gradually climbed 
higher and higher on the side of the valley that 
we had seen from the bungalow. A large river, 
full of rapids, filled the valley with a sound like 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 413 

the rush of a great wind, and the green and white 
of its rock-tortured waters flashed through the 
trees upon the bank. At one place a little hill, 
possibly five hundred feet high, stands quite 
alone in the centre of the valley. It is a perfect 
cyhnder-cone, and is plumed with waving bam- 
boo to the very top. 

After our cold tiffin, eaten by one of the many 
little brooks that tumble downhill into the river, 
the road climbed by short zigzags over a cross- 
spur a thousand feet high, and from its grassy 
top I had a broad view of a new branch-valley 
and several parallel mountain ranges. The big 
shoulder, which had closed our view the night 
before, loomed up across the narrow valley, 
quite close at hand. 

I sat down on a stone by the roadside, to enjoy 
the view and wait for my mules, which were 
three quarters of an hour behind; and as I sat 
lost in thoughts, mainly about Purdy, whom we 
hoped to meet the following day, I became con- 
scious of a heavy breathing near-by. I turned my 
head, and twenty yards away I saw a very large 
white buffalo, that had come quietly around 
the corner and was standing like a statue, flank 
towards me. So silently had he come and so 
motionless was he, that he might have just risen 



414 LETTERS OF 

through the ground. He was pretending to look 
across the valley, but I could see his ugly red eye 
turned in my direction. 

Each waited for the other to make the first 
move, and his patience outwaited mine. There 
was a steep bank behind me, about ten feet high, 
and I determined that its flowery crest was a 
much pleasanter place to sit than this roadside 
boulder. I commenced to climb it slowly and 
deliberately, so as not to startle the beast; but at 
my first movement, he commenced a lumbering 
charge, which ended at the bank below me just as 
I drew my feet out of reach. A creature the size 
of a piano, with two sharp three-foot horns and 
wicked red eyes, is a great assistance to activity, 
I find. He kept me on the bank for five minutes, 
then moved off down the road. As he neared the 
next turn, a few yards distant, I leaned forward 
to see the last of him. At the first rustle of the 
grass, he wheeled and lowered his horns, but as I 
held my breath, he considered it a false alarm, 
and proceeded just around the corner, where he 
waited for five minutes more, as I could see by 
his shadow on the road. Then he climbed up the 
other side of the fifty-foot ridge at my back and 
surveyed me from above, where he crashed about 
for some time. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 415 

When my pony came up, I remounted, and for 
the rest of the day was borne slowly along with- 
out interruption, other than being pitched over 
his head on a bad stretch, where he stumbled flat 
over a log. I think we were both asleep. It was 
rather lucky that he was not headed towards the 
valley, or I should have gone over the edge, with 
nothing between me and the river and valley 
tree-tops except eight hundred feet of thin air. 
I asked Maung Tun to spring over the edge, so 
that I could see how it looked, and learn through 
him how it felt, but for the first time in our 
acquaintance, he refused to obey me, and even 
resisted my offer of three pice for a performance. 
We compromised with a big boulder, which 
grew steadily smaller, and then disappeared amid 
a great swaying of tree-tops and circling of dis- 
turbed birds. Towards evening our pace de- 
creased so much that I threw chips overboard 
to see whether my steed were moving or no. Sev- 
eral violent applications of an old Kachin bow 
to Rosinante's flanks finally produced a stately 
trot. I thought I must have been cruel, so tried 
the bow on my own leg, and the only way I 
knew that I had hit myself was by the sound; 
so I determined that my steed must have 
heard the racket when I was beating him, and 



4i6 LETTERS OF 

moved forward, to get out of range of the firing- 
line. 

The great roads of the world have a fascina- 
tion for me that is greater than the fascination of 
great rivers, and this is one of the world's great 
roads. The stretch we had been travelling, al- 
though a newly built section, is still the same 
route by which all overland trade and travel has 
passed between Cathay and Ind, the land of 
spices and the land of silk. It is the very route 
followed by the army of the Great Khan and 
Marco Polo, when, after the battle of elephants 
at Yungchang, they moved victoriously through 
Burmah to Ava or Pagon, and stood amazed at 
the pagodas, covered with plates of gold. It is a 
road which, having left the Irrawaddy valley and 
these Kachin hills, passes through the moun- 
tains and lake plains of Yunnan, across the head- 
waters of the Salween, the Mekhong, and the 
Dragon River, Loong, through the fertile plains 
and rich cities of Szechuan Province, to the banks 
of the Yangtze- Kiang, the River with Sands of 
Gold. How I envied the friend I had come 
to meet, who had just passed along its entire 
length, and seen the country of the Horned Wha 
Miaous, the Lihsoos, the Chinese Shans, and still 
other strange peoples of whom the world as 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 417 

yet has heard only vague rumors and travellers' 
tales. 

All day long we had passed caravans of loaded 
mules and strings of fifty to one hundred coo- 
lies with carrying-poles, all Chinese or Chinese 
Shans, and sometimes there were Shan women 
with them, soberly dressed, with cyhnders of black 
cloth on their heads and heavy ear-ornaments. 

About four o^clock we entered a heavy forest 
of large trees, growing thickly on the almost per- 
pendicular hillside, and although the mountains 
across the river were flooded with sunlight, we 
were in a dark twilight with the evening chill 
gathering about us. At every stream, we passed 
a caravan busy building fires and spreading 
branches for the night's encampment, or already 
stretched about the glowing logs with their rice- 
bowls and chopsticks in their hands, while two 
or three of their number had unpacked the one- 
stringed fiddle and the tiny hand-drum, and were 
torturing the night with that wild chaos of sound 
that makes up Chinese music. I never know 
whether they are tuning up or are in the midst 
of a tune, but when we learn that they have thirty 
odd tones instead of the meagre eight that we are 
content with, it is easy to understand why it is 
beyond our comprehension. 



4i8 LETTERS OF 

The bungalow Mafongkha, where we stopped 
for the night, stood on a shelf above the river, far 
above, and was surrounded by three or four 
grass-huts, in which about twenty Kachin people 
were living; the bungalow was also in charge of 
a semi-civilized Kachin man who spoke a bit of 
Hindustani. I was very glad to have a chance to 
observe these wild people more closely, for apart 
from the village Morn auk, which we passed on 
the first day and which is entirely modelled after 
Burmese civiHzing influence, we had seen no vil- 
lages, and had only passed the people by the road- 
side now and then. Indeed, we often saw distant 
huts high up on the hillside, or a lonely, rickety 
watch-tower on an outlying spur, but the vil- 
lages are all in well-protected and well-concealed 
retreats, and the only evidence of their proximity 
is a tunnel-like path leading away from the main 
road. 

The Kachin people are a short, sturdy race, 
with dark skins and Mongoloid features. They 
seem to be healthy in the main, but both men 
and women suffer commonly from goitre. They 
live on rice, which they cultivate, small animals, 
dogs, and birds, which they shoot with bows 
and arrows. The men pierce their ears and 
stretch the holes with cylindrical plugs of wood. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 419 

metal, paper, or a sort of velvet; they are great 
tobacco-srnokers and betel-chewers. On their 
heads they wear an elaborately folded turban, 
sometimes of great proportions, made of sober 
blue cloth. A jacket and short trousers, evidently 
borrowed from the Shan style, and a large red 
bag decorated with beads, shells, buttons, metal- 
disks, and fringe, together with a long sword in 
an open sheath, complete the costume of those 
men I saw near the trade route. In the hill fast- 
nesses they may dispense with some of the arti- 
cles, — I do not know. 

The women are rather more picturesque. 
They wear a jacket, leggings, and a short skirt 
with a deep border worked in barbaric red. 
From the waist to the mid-thigh their bodies are 
wrapped with hoop after hoop of bamboo, 
painted black, and about their necks they wear 
from one to six or more large rings of thick silver 
wire. Their hair is a bushy shock, cut like an 
Elizabethan page's hair, and their arms, legs, and 
ears are loaded with what jewelry they can afford. 
The Kachins are easy to get along with, and 
although they have developed no startling mer- 
its, they take kindly to education and to Chris- 
tianity. In fact, there is at Bhamo a flourishing 
mission-school under charge of Mr. Roberts, an 



420 LETTERS OF 

American missionary, who has worked there for 
years. 

The night before, I had been rather cold and 
had mentioned the fact in the morning, and in 
consequence, this night I discovered that Maung 
Tun had tried to hide one of his meagre rugs 
among my bed-clothes, but I discovered it and 
made him take it back, along with my overcoat; 
he was quite chagrined. 

On the third morning we continued to travel 
through the hillside forest that we had entered 
the previous afternoon. The trees were magni- 
ficent old specimens, twined about with great 
parasites that wrapped them around with thick 
white cords as large as a man's leg. Wild plan- 
tain or banana grew among the heavy under- 
growth, out of which the teak trees lifted their 
straight columns, and from every branch cord- 
like streamers hung swaying for eighty feet. 
From every cleft in the hillside came a cool 
breath and the tinkle of water falling over rock, 
and through the ferns and heavy red flowers we 
caught the white spray of a dozen waterfalls. 

Golden pheasants and red-shouldered jungle- 
fowl hardly troubled to get out of our way, rab- 
bits and bushy-tailed squirrels whisked around 
corners just ahead of us, and large monkeys 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 421 

swung along the liana cords and took unbeliev- 
able crashing leaps in the tree-tops. Tiger and 
elephant never penetrate the too open forests of 
these hills, but leopards abound, and with every 
rustle made by a timid mongoose or other tiny 
beast there was the wild, never realized hope 
that we might catch a gUmpse of spotted hide. 

At last we descended a deep ravine, forded a 
pretty stream, and climbed to a tumble-down 
group of huts on the other side. Kulikan, the 
first soil of China, the actual frontier where, if 
calculations were at all correct, I should meet 
Purdy, who for four months had been travel- 
ling from Shanghai towards this border. I did 
not expect him until night, however, and in- 
tended to spend the afternoon in making the 
place habitable. 

I rode over the rise into the collection of huts, 
and there a strange sight met my eyes. Two 
rudely-made mountain-chairs slung on poles, a 
collection of packs and bundles on the ground, 
and squatting near them, seven ragged, dirty 
coolies. At one side stood four coolies with red- 
trimmed coats in the last stages of dissolution, 
and beyond them a group of villagers. In the 
centre of this mob stood a Chinese gentleman in 
a long yellow robe, with his little red-buttoned 



422 LETTERS OF 

cap at a jaunty angle, and beside him — Purdy. 
His left hand held a can of cold tongue, from 
which he had been taking an odorous and un- 
savory luncheon, his right hand was employed 
in giving medicine to the villagers, who think 
every foreigner is a doctor and come up for 
treatment all along the route. At the same time 
he was trying to give a great string of cash to the 
tattered red coolies, who, I discovered later, were 
soldiers presented by the Chinese Government as 
an honorary escort to the Great Foreign Trav- 
eller. When he caught sight of me, he was 
almost struck dumb, for he supposed that I was 
in Ceylon, about twenty-five hundred miles or 
more from the Chinese frontier. 

It was a very happy meeting for both of us, 
and after a bite to eat we started to return to 
Mafongkha, where I had spent the last night. 
We walked the whole way, and the afternoon 
passed as quickly as the usual half-hour. I don't 
think that either of us saw anything of the road, 
for we had so much to ask and to tell about our 
different adventures during the last four months. 

Our trip back was made on rather short rations, 
for I had only provisioned myself for the three 
days to the border, reasoning that Purdy would 
have a cook and plenty of food with him. But 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 423 

ever since he had parted at Yunnan-fu with Per- 
rin, who had taken the cook out through Tonkin 
and Cochin China, he had been living on Chi- 
nese food prepared at the village inns, and he and 
Wong, the yellow-cloaked interpreter, had fared 
excellently up to the moment we met, for thirty- 
two days of hard travel. Just at the border, 
however, all inns stopped, with the exception 
of two hovel-like places where we secured some 
half-ripe rice for the coolies; so our trip back to 
Bhamo was made on two cans of lunch tongue, 
one can of sardines, a few eggs, and a chicken 
which we secured from the "Wild People," as 
Wong called them. Plenty to support life, but 
not very satisfying to our ravenous appetites. 

I have always held that any road which is 
worth going over at all is worth going over twice. 
You get an entirely different point of view and 
see many beauties which at first escaped notice, 
and our trip back to the Irrawaddy was even 
more interesting than the trip up, especially as 
it was enHvened by the company and strange 
experiences of my new-found friend. 

How they had spent forty-five days coming a 
Httle over four hundred miles, through the gi- 
gantic gorges and swollen rapids of the Yangtze; 
how they had broken adrift again and again, as 



424 LETTERS OF 

they were being pulled upstream by forty or 
fifty naked singing coolies; how they had been 
caught in a whirlpool and swept down river, los- 
ing hours of work in a few minutes ; how they 
used to send a soldier ahead with a yellow flag 
inscribed with their Chinese names, to seize a 
whole inn for their caravan; how they travelled 
all day through a heavy snow-storm, and had 
the gates of Yunnan-fu opened for them after 
dark, a thing never before heard of; how they 
had been very great men in China, because their 
huge red calling-cards had been made Viceroy's 
size by mistake ; how country people used to beat 
their heads on the ground before them in the 
time-honored kowtow; how they had been asked 
to settle disputes that were beyond the power 
of local authorities to deal with ; how they had 
looked on the snow-clad mountains at Tali-fu, 
which are the foothills of the Himalayas, and 
how they had been tempted to make a dash into 
near-by Thibet. No wonder the days passed 
quickly, and we found ourselves out of the hills 
and back in Burmah proper before we knew it. 
It was a pleasure to see Purdy's delight at the 
sudden change which had come over the sur- 
roundings that he had grown so used to. No 
more mountains to cross, no more counting of 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 425 

days, and looking at great stretches on the map 
still to be traversed. There were his first golden 
pagodas, his first loaded elephant, moving Hke 
a mountain towards us along the same painted 
vista where I had seen the black buffalo. There 
was his first cart, full of laughing Burmese girls, 
all flowers and silk and gold bangles, with eight- 
inch, white cheroots pressed to their dainty lips. 
A rickety tikka-gharry, a bicycle, the out- 
skirts of the village of Bhamo, the old dak bun- 
galow, and there 's an end on 't. 

Love to all, Gilbert. 

S. S. Kapurthala, 
Bay of Bengal, January 28, 1908. 

P. S. After leaving Bhamo we rejoined Am. 
at Mandalay, where we had a great Burmese 
dance in the hotel yard to celebrate our reunion. 
Am. left the next day for Rangoon and Calcutta, 
where he is to join us, having investigated all 
sorts of trips and made plans for us in the mean 
time. Purdy and I waited for pictures to be 
developed, and to dispose of the servants and 
caravan he had brought across China with him. 
Purdy got a Burmese boy; I still have Maung 
Tun, who is an orphan and swears he will follow 
me to the end of the world. We are now on a 



426 GILBERT LITTLE STARK 

coasting steamer, and have been seven days mak- 
ing a roundabout coast-trip from Rangoon. We 
stopped at two places in Burmah, i, e, Chank- 
pyu and Akyab, and one in eastern Bengal, i, e, 
Chittagong, and to-morrow we reach Calcutta. 
At Akyab we took our boys and went about three 
miles out of town for an all-day picnic in a cocoa- 
nut grove by the seashore, where we four caught 
crabs, swam in the surf, ran races on the beach, 
and chased strange adjutant birds among the 
palm trees. On our return we found the place 
was famous for both sharks and tigers — more 
careful in the future. Purdy and I are crazy to 
return to the Philippines and Pekin; now that 
we have got in touch with Professor Williams 
(Yale Oriental History Professor), we could have 

his company. We also met H K at 

Rangoon, and he wants to join us if we go back. 

Gilbert. 



^ CHAPTER VII 

INDIA 

Written on S. S. Kapurthala, 

in the Bay of Bengal, at the Ganges' mouth, 

January 29, 1908. 

Dear Hugh, — Do you remember the old 
Belgravia, or whatever she was called, that bore 
us over briny seas to Hamburg ? Well, since I 
have been away from home I have been on only 
two boats as large as she was, and on twelve vary- 
ing in size from nine hundred to three thousand 
tons. This particular drowning-machine is about 
the size of the Richard Peck, but she has carried 
us for eight days around the coast from Burmah, 
over glassy seas. There are only two other pas- 
sengers, each married to the other, and Purdy 
and I are almost sorry that we reach Calcutta this 
afternoon. We are alone at present, as Scurve 
has been called home, and Am. got restless in 
Burmah and beat it to Calcutta, with the object 
of breaking the heart of the Viceroy's daughter. 

Lady R , before I had a chance at her. We 

shall rejoin him this day. 

Before I go any farther, dear old Falstaff, let me 
hope that all your family are well, and that you 



428 LETTERS OF 

are having a happier, more care-free time than 
you did in the summer. Once my own father 
was dangerously ill, and I shudder now when I 
think of it, and my deepest sympathy goes out to 
you and your brothers. I hope that somewhere 
on my long road over here I shall find a letter 
from you which will answer all the questions I 
have been asking myself about you, since I last 
heard from you in June. 

I was the last of our group to leave Japan, 
and stayed on until September 15th. Wally,Ted, 

John, and R A , with whom we had been 

having a splendid time, went home over the Trans- 
Siberian Railway. Purdy and Scurve suddenly 
went insane and left Japan for India by way 
of Shanghai, the Yangtze- Kiang, and Central 
China, a long walk of thirty-six hundred miles. 
Am. went to Korea and Manchuria, and I joined 
him on September 21st in Pekin, where we stayed 
a month, making a long trip in carts and on don- 
keys through the Great Wall into Mongolia. At 
Pekin we met lots of fine men who have made 
great names for themselves, and they passed us 
on to friends, so that our trip down the China 
coast, through Tientsin, Ching-wan-tao, Shang- 
hai, Foochow, Amoy, and Swatow, was very 
pleasant. In November we went to Formosa, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 429 

and joined our young consul there in an official 
expedition of two weeks among the head-hunting 
savages, who became great friends of ours. 

On this trip both Am. and our Chinese boy, 
Lin, caught jungle fever, and for two weeks they 
were in a hospital at Hong Kong. Then we went 
to Java for a month, where the mai^n feature was 

a visit of several days to Baron Von H , on 

his huge tea-plantation. 

We finally tore ourselves away from Java and 
went to Burmah, via Singapore and Penang, 
and there we recruited Purdy, but I went from 
Burmah to the Chinese frontier, with a mule 
caravan, to meet him. 

India is our next spasm, and then — Heaven 
alone knows. It may be Egypt, may be Persia, 
and may be back home through China. I will 
let you know which, when we decide. 

I have not heard much news from the fellows. 
You probably know all I do and more. . . . 

By the way, our boat is ploughing through 
muddy Ganges water, which our sailors think is 
so holy that a bath in it will take them straight 
to Heaven, or to a place that corresponds to our 
Heaven. The Ganges banks also have come in 
view, and they are low, muddy excuses for banks, 
with scrubby bushes and mangy palm trees. 



430 LETTERS OF 

Among the dozens of pleasant features of the 
last half-year is one which I know would tickle 
you, and many times have I wished for you to 
help me enjoy it. The feature I speak of is — 
the kids. They have quite captured me, and I 
know that you, who have room in your big heart 
for all the smelly, ugly, Httle, Jevnsh ragamuffins in 
the world, would never tire of the brown-bodied 
little monkeys with white teeth and black eyes, 
who are scared to death at first, but gradually 
grow bolder and cuddle up to you and pat your 
hand, as though you were the only friend they 
had ever had in the world. Let me introduce you 
to a few of the pleasant memories I have stored 
away. "Mr. MacWhirter MacWhylees — Mino 
Ohashi of Nikko, Japan." 

Mino was a little peach. He was a sort of 
guide to the neighborhood at Nikko and knew a 
little English. I met him one night when I was 
strolling about in Japanese costume. He imme- 
diately went home for his best kimono, and then 
took me out for a long walk, and we became 
great friends. He was the pet of the whole crowd, 
and I took him with me for three weeks. It was 
almost Hke being married, for he would wait up 
for me at night and scold me when I was out late, 
and then put me to bed on the floor (where you 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 431 

have to sleep in a Japanese inn), and bring me 
tea and cigarettes after I was all fixed. He was 
a great mimic, too, and used to amuse us every 
evening by acting out different things he had 
seen during the day. We had an English les- 
son every evening, too, and he also taught me a 
bit of Japanese. I missed him greatly, and he 
cried when I sent him back to Nikko, and I 
have a queerly spelled letter from him every 
month. ' 

Next, shake your own hands (in true Chinese 
style) at Ah Sin Ko, a little Chinese boy with 
thick-soled shoes, gray robe, black cap with red 
button, and long, shiny pigtail. He had been on 
a visit to some friends near Pekin and was 
walking home, a several days' journey, when our 
caravan bound for Mongolia overtook him. He 
at once joined us for protection, and from his 
manly bearing and self-reliance we called him 
"the Commodore." He could not speak any 
English, but he learned his name, and we had 
great fun with him. Am. and I used to walk a 
long way ahead of the animals, and he joined us. 
We taught him to salute like a soldier, and when 
we saw a camel caravan coming towards us, we 
would all fall into step and march up to it, then 
line up by the roadside and salute as it passed, 



432 LETTERS OF 

much to the amazement of the camel-drivers, 
and to the great glee of the Commodore. 

The most affectionate of all the kids I have 
seen, hov^ever, w^as, strange to say, one of the 
Formosa head-hunters. On this trip in the jun- 
gle we had fifty-six savages to carry our supplies, 
and among them were women and children. One 
of these, a boy of fourteen, showed an early desire 
to make friends, and soon he spent all his time 
in camp, sitting at my feet. On the march 
he would not walk anywhere except directly 
behind me, and several times during the day 
he would reach forward for my hand and touch 
it. He was very anxious to have me learn his 
language, which is very easy like most savage 
tongues, and did teach me about eighty words. 
He would keep touching parts of his body and 
repeating the name, and then make me say it 
after him. 

I wish you could have seen him ; Uschlung was 
his name, by the way. He was about four feet 
tall and very well built, as any one could plainly 
see, for his only clothing was a tiny square of 
cloth, not a loin-cloth, simply a loose curtain. 
He wore also a wide wooden belt, bent tightly 
about his waist like a corset. His neck was cov- 
ered with necklaces of beads, wild-boar bones. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 433 

and brass rings, and in his ears were half-moons 
of mother of pearl. Two of his very white teeth 
in front had been knocked out. Every man 
knocks these teeth out to make himself more 
beautiful. His eyes were big and round, his nose 
straight, and his chin well modelled — altogether 
he was a noble-looking little savage. I must n't 
forget his sword, however, which was a long, 
sharp, home-made knife in an open wooden 
sheath. This sword they use for killing wild 
beasts, cutting off heads, cutting their food, 
or cutting bamboo grass for their huts. As we 
spent every night at an altitude varying be- 
tween six thousand and fourteen thousand feet, 
it was very cold, and our savages nearly froze, 
with their naked bodies unprotected. Every 
night Uschlung would creep under my blanket, 
and want to sleep there, but I always sent him 
off, as soon as I felt his strong Httle body grow 
warm. I did lend him a coat, however, while we 
were in high altitudes. 

Since then we have made acquaintance with 
children in Java, the Malay States, and Burmah, 
and have left a tiny friend behind us everywhere. 

We are living a cheap but luxurious hfe here 
in the East, and at present we each have a ser- 
vant with us. Mine is a Burmese youth of eight- 



434 LETTERS OF 

een named Maung Tun. He wakens me in the 
morning with a cup of tea and some toast. He 
lays out my clothes, he folds up what I take off, 
and keeps my clothes packed in order, and sees 
that they are washed and pressed, and my shoes 
blacked. He waits on me at table in the hotels, 
and walks behind me all day to act as interpreter, 
if I want to ask questions or buy anything. He 
rides behind Hke a footman whenever I get into a 
cab, and he tends to all tips and small fees, por- 
ters, and checking of luggage. He helps me dress 
for dinner, and turns out the lights after I go to 
bed. Then he rubs my back and tells me funny 
stories until I am ready to go to sleep. On coun- 
try expeditions he also cooks, and on the railroad 
trains he gets out rugs and pillows and makes 
everything comfortable. These boys make a 
regular old woman out of you in the East; why, 
they even take off your shoes for you ! 

Maung Tun wears a pink silk turban, a white 
jacket, and a gorgeous silk skirt, called a 
lungyi. On his bare feet are slippers, which he 
always takes off before entering my presence. 
Just like a comic opera, is n't it ? 

Many things have reminded me of our trip to- 
gether in 1904, and I find that that trip, together 
with our close friendship at college, forms one of 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 435 

the pleasantest memories of my life. Do write, 
Hugh-gins; send your letter care of Thomas 
Cook, Bombay, if you get it off before March. 
Love to your family, and Dick and Ern when 
you write them. 

Yours always, Gil. 

S. S. Kapurthala, January 29. 

Dear Father, — We are now steaming up 
the Ganges, or one of its mouths, towards Cal- 
cutta, where we shall rejoin Am. to-night. India 
at last lies before us. 

Several matters await our attention here, and 
most important of all is the decision as to our 
future plans. It seems that three courses lie be- 
fore us. 

I : India until early in March, then Constan- 
tinople via Persia; this would give us a chance 
for Northern India only. 

2 : India until May, including Southern India, 
and Kashmir when the warm weather grows un- 
pleasant; then Europe via Egypt. 

3 : India until March, then through Southern 
India to the Philippines direct, and later North 
China, Manchuria, and Korea. 

This third is the plan which Purdy and I are 
eager to adopt. I have also heard lately from 



436 LETTERS OF 

Professor Williams of Yale, who wants us to join 
him. He is working towards China with Mr. 

B , a distinguished Connecticut lawyer, and 

we shall see them next week. Their plans and 
advice will be a big factor in our decision. We 
also expect to meet Professor Woolsey, and he 
is heading towards China. 

Am.'s African trip, on which he has set his 
heart, is the only thing that keeps him from tak- 
ing this same plan. 

There is no doubt that the second plan would 
be the easiest, laziest, and pleasantest, but there 
is also no doubt that the third plan would be most 
fascinating, most instructive, and fully as cheap. 
As I have said before, Europe appeals to my 
sense of beauty, of romance, and calls up images 
of the past; but just at present is not my business 
more with the tremendous problems of the future 
that are just beginning to swell on the shores of 
the Pacific, and that are sure to fill the horizon 
for the next generation at least ? 

We are just on the eve of great doings. The 
Evolution of Civilization and that of the Races 
of Man have simultaneously reached a critical 
climax. The point is that Science has outstripped 
nature. The east and west have been abolished, 
but the East and West remain. The geographi- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 437 

cal barriers have been cast down, but the differ- 
ence between the Orient and Occident in mind, 
body, and institutions still remains as rigid as 
before. Something must happen, and as the 
greatest factor in this coming problem is peace- 
ful China, knowledge and skilful legislation and 
diplomacy are going to settle matters, not force 
of arms. You see it is not a question of military 
supremacy at all. Conquer China a dozen times, 
or divide her into a hundred slices, and her in- 
creasing hundreds of millions remain, spreading 
to the farthest parts of the earth; and the prob- 
lem is as it was before. I do not think there is a 
Yellow Peril at all, but there is as big a problem 
as the world has ever seen and grappled. When 
I think of these things, the soft sun of Italy and 
the train-ride from Cairo to the Pyramids seem 
things that can wait for my first two months 
with nothing to do, after I become a lawyer, how- 
ever long that may be. 

Persia does not seem practical on account of 
the troubles there, but we shall hear this after- 
noon, for Am. has had a week to make inquiries 
and plans at Calcutta. He will have some wild 
scheme afoot sure. I will continue this letter 
after we have landed and I have read the mail 
which I ordered forwarded from Bombay. 



438 LETTERS OF 

I am more than grateful to you and mother 
for your Christmas present. 

Thank you so much, too, for sending Ugo 
Nakada the candy ; the address was quite correct. 

I suppose my third cable, of the late series, 
told you that I had finally received both of yours, 
which were stupidly delayed at Singapore and 
Rangoon. I am surprised that you could not 
read my first — it meant "Merry Xmas and 
Happy New Year. Let me know that you have 
received this." 

Calcutta. 

On arrival here, we found Am. hobnobbing 

with Lord M and the rest. He had secured 

invitations for us to the great Durbar, for which 
we arrived a day too late, and for a ball given 

by the Countess of M , for which we are not 

going to wait. We have been here one night, and 
leave to-day for Darjeeling in the Himalayas. 

H K is again here with us, but has 

decided not to return via Pacific. Am. has 
planned so much for us in India that it almost 
looks as if we had better stay here until May, 
and then beat it for Europe, and a month's study 
of languages there, before going home. A wire 
from you saying that you could not go to the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 439 

Philippines, but might come to Europe, would 
absolutely decide me to adopt the above course. 
Our plans here, if we stay, include a visit to the 
Maharaja of Gwalior and a month in Kashmir! 

Darjeeling, February 3. 

Hooray! the most magnificent place I have 
seen since leaving China ! Wonderful mountains, 
fascinating natives in furs and pigtails. Hordes 
of Lepchas, Bhutias, Nepalese; and, best of 
all, real Thibetans, loaded with silver and tur- 
quoise ornaments ! Am. has gone down for a two 
weeks' hunt with Prince Hiti, son of the Rajah 
of Kuch-Behar, and Purdy and I are leaving 
for a two weeks' trip into Sikkim, the Heart 
of the Himalayas, the country of the Lychas, 
and the vestibule of Thibet. Although we shall 
be among the highest, grandest mountains of the 
world, our road is a broad one along valleys, and 
the trip will be very easy. The Lycha people 
are also the kindest, most primitive, and hos- 
pitable people under the sun; so don't imagine 
we are in the least danger. 

Sikkim is closed, as are Thibet, Nepal, and 
Bhutan, but we have secured passes from the 
British Government that will enable us to cross 
the border of British Sikkim, in which we are 



440 LETTERS OF 

practically now, and enter the Independent King- 
dom. In all the time I have been away, I have 
not been so enthusiastic about a trip. We have 
four ponies, our two Burmese boys, a young 
Thibetan interpreter, Chhodhar by name, who is 
a little peach, seven coolies, and four syces or 
pony-boys. We shall stay each night in a gov- 
ernment rest-house, with a roaring wood-fire, 
for here we are having proper February weather. 
It is our purpose to visit Gangtok, the capital, 
Famiongshi, the biggest Lamasery this side of 
Thibet itself, and Kalimpong, where there is a 
missionary. I will not tell you more, but save the 
rest for the actual description of the trip. In two 
weeks you will hear all about it. I have received 
the Xmas presents from all of you, — many, 
many thanks; they delighted me. 

Loads of love to all of you. 

Gilbert. 

By the way, our syces are to beNepalese Ghur- 
kas, and our coolies Bhutias and Thibetans. 
How about that, — is n't it good } 

Darjeeling, February 17, 1908. 
Dear Ones, — Back again to civilization 
after a magnificent, easy trip in mountains that 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 441 

filled us full of health and enthusiasm. I am 
working at an account of it for you, from full 
notes I made every night. If you only have 
patience, it will arrive in large doses; but I'm 
afraid there will be more quantity than quality. 
However, it will tell you how we put in our time 
during these two weeks of silence. 

Professor WilHams and his classmate and com- 
panion are here with us, and we are constantly 
together. It is a treat to be with these fine, schol- 
arly men, especially as Professor Williams is a 
distinguished Orientalist. This morning we all 
rose at four and rode ponies to the top of Tiger 
Hill, six miles distant, to get a peek at Everest 
and to see the sunrise. The view was glorious 
and beggars all description, but a handful of 
cloud was sufficient to hide Everest, one hundred 
and twenty miles distant. All you can see any- 
way is a white dot, and the only object of see- 
ing it is to be able to talk about it afterwards; 
a ridiculous object. Only forty-five miles away, 
however, is a half-circle of snow peaks, 180 de- 
grees of solid snow and ice crowned with twelve 
distinct peaks over twenty thousand feet high, 
and many others just under that altitude. In the 
centre rises the majestic mass of Kinchin-junga, 
only a few feet lower than Everest, itself over 



442 LETTERS OF 

twenty-eight thousand feethigh. Just before sun- 
rise the entire snow mass gleamed blood-red. It 
was magnificent, and Professor Williams, who 
does not take breakfast, remained behind until 
ten o'clock, over four hours, and has just re- 
turned. The view is practically the same as 
the one from our hotel, and from every other 
spot in Darjeeling. Tiger Hill is twelve hundred 
feet higher, and so the intervening valley across 
which the peaks rise is deepened to six thousand 
feet straight down. From my back window I 
could apparently drop a stone five thousand feet. 
Full details and future plans in a day or so. 
Love to all, Gilbert. 

Delhi, March i, 1908. 

Dear Helen, — ... The beautiful pin you 
sent me arrived safely, and smuggled itself 
through the customs in fine style. It has since 
gleamed resplendent in my ragged and crumpled 
neck-gear, and has been the envy of all India. 
It was great of you to think of me way out here, 
and I thank you ever so much. 

At Darjeeling Purdy and I lingered two days 

with Professor Williams and Mr. B , and 

were with them constantly, walking, eating, and 
riding. Professor Williams and I had some great 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 443 

talks about Eastern questions, and filled in the 
chinks swapping stanzas from Omar Khayyam. 
We hated to say good-bye to them, and I do wish 
I could join them in China; but I have about 
given that plan up, as I should not think of going 
back east without full approval from home, and 
the time is too short for that. 

Am. had finished his visit to the Rajah of 
Kuch-Behar long before we came down to Cal- 
cutta; and as he grew tired of waiting for us, he 
proceeded to Agra, to wait there. 

On the 19th we finally returned to Calcutta, 
and stayed for only one night. Calcutta is a nice 
modern city, but not a bit more Indian than 
Montreal or Toronto, except for the color of the 
people in the street. Finis Calcutta. 

Our next stop was Benares, and there we put 
in two full days. Benares is the sacred city of the 
Hindus, and there are over one thousand temples 
there; but, as some of them are n't any larger 
than a cheese-box, they are not so much in evi- 
dence as you would imagine. 

The city is built on the holy Ganges River, and 
is for the most part a collection of mud-walled 
houses; but along the river-bank, and for some 
distance back, the buildings are of stone and rise 
three or four stories in height, almost meeting 



444 LETTERS OF 

over the narrow, winding rat-holes that take the 
place of streets. 

We did the usual things. Visited first the Mon- 
key Temple, a sort of stone backyard, with a 
stone shrine in the middle under a carved canopy. 
At one side is a big bathing ghat, with stone steps 
on all sides ; at the gate are the usual loathsome 
Indian beggars, and swarming all over the place 
are big, filthy monkeys. I bought some grain for 
them, and they could n't wait, but jumped about 
and tried to knock the plate out of my hands. 
There are almost two hundred of them, and they 
are thought to be very sacred and close friends of 
the goddess Durga, whose temple this really is. 
I scratched one on the back with my cane, and 
the people almost mobbed me. Horrible place. 

The only spot that I have ever seen that is 
dirtier is the cow-temple adjoining the Golden 
Temple of Siva. These shrines are a collection 
of small carved-stone buildings, so huddled and 
tangled up with the surrounding structure that it 
is hard to get an idea of their shape. Being out- 
casts and pagans, we were not allowed to enter 
the holy places, but we peeked through doors and 
gateways into slimy courtyards full of carved 
figures of bulls and other beasts, live cows, and 
all kinds of Hindu people. I also looked through 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 445 

a hole in the wall into the ladies' department, 
and here was even more confusion. A jam of fat 
and ugly females, with nose-rings like oxen, were 
throwing flowers and water over the emblems of 
the god Siva and making an awful racket about 
it. By climbing up on a building near by I could 
see the gold roof, which gives the temple its name. 
It would be hard to imagine a greater contrast 
than these temples present to the Buddhist tem- 
ples I have seen. 

The great sight at Benares is the river-front. 
The banks are about forty feet above the water 
at this time of year, and magnificent flights of 
stone steps and terraces stretch for two miles 
along the water's edge. These steps are topped 
by strong fortresses and grim, bastioned palaces; 
for all the Hindu rajahs have houses here. Be- 
tween the palaces and temples you peer down 
the black mouths of the narrow streets. 

The river-steps are dotted with big mat-um- 
brellas, under each of which sits a fakeer; un- 
clothed holy men these are, who sit on spikes, or 
never speak, or look forever into a mirror as did 
the Lady of Shalott. A mass of people, in bright 
robes, crowd always up and down, and the 
water is full of praying bathers. There are young 
and old, well and sick, widows and brides, the 



446 LETTERS OF 

dying and even the dead. After the bath the holy 
fakeers paint a fresh caste mark on the bathers' 
foreheads. 

In two or three different places are great stacks 
of wood, with bodies lying on them ready to be 
burned, and in other places you can see the 
attendants with long poles poking charred bits 
back into the flames, or raking over the ashes 
before flinging them into the river. All Hindu 
bodies are burned, except those of the fakeers, 
and on our first trip to the river a dead fakeer 
rubbed against our boat as he floated down- 
stream, followed by a dead dog and a monkey. 
There is no doubt that Benares is interesting, but 
I think you would find it a bit disgusting. 

On our last afternoon we made a trip up river 
for a few miles, to visit the Rajah's palace. It is 
a magnificent fortress rising sheer and grim out 
of the river, and its forbidding towers and but- 
tresses are capped by graceful galleries and ar- 
cades. The interior is elaborately furnished, but 
without much taste. 

His Highness was out hunting, and had 
twenty-five elephants with him, so the palace ofii- 
cials could not offer us an elephant to carry us to 
a neighboring temple; but they put at our dis- 
posal a queer sort of conveyance with a pair of 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 447 

good horses, and we drove a mile or so to the 
temple and the royal gardens, where the gardener 
gave us fragrant boutonnieres of rosebuds and 
mignonette. We had a proud coachman, two 
footmen, two liveried attendants with resplen- 
dent turbans, and, as we had an Arab guide and 
my Burmese bearer, Maung Tun, with us, our 
carriage looked Hke a Barnum and Bailey's band- 
wagon, or a float in the firemen's parade. 

After we left Benares, we went straight to Agra, 
to rejoin Am., and although we did not see the 
Taj until the second day, I am going to write 
you about it, as you mentioned it in one of your 
letters. 

It was built, you know, by Emperor Shah 
Jehan, the third of the Great Moguls, as a 
tomb for his beloved wife, the "Jewel of the 
Palace." It took twenty thousand men over 
twenty years to build, and although the beautiful 
marble and the precious stones of which it is 
built were all presented to the Emperor by his 
servants, the Indian Rajahs, and although labor 
in this country is very cheap, only a trifle a day, 
it cost Shah Jehan over a million dollars in gold, 
according to some accounts. It has been claimed 
that an Italian designed the tomb, but now it 
seems clear that, although there were some 



448 LETTERS OF 

French and Italian assistants in the inlaid de- 
signs, the credit and the glory belong to Persian 
and Indian Mohammedan architects. Now that 
you have swallowed the bare facts, you can look 
at the building itself. 

Before reaching India I was sick of the word 
Taj. Everyone spoke of the Taj, the Taj, just as 
they used to talk about the Wizard of Oz, and I 
got to think it very cheap to mention the word. 
I read so many descriptions of it and saw so many 
pictures of it that I knew I should be disap- 
pointed. I had no doubt that it was a very pretty 
Uttle building, but I felt sure that seeing it would 
be an old story and would give me no pleasure. 
But I knew nothing about the matter. The Taj 
is one of the few things in the world that noto- 
riety and vulgar praise and hackneyed descrip- 
tion are powerless to spoil. You cannot be dis- 
appointed in it, and to all alike it reveals itself, 
fresh and pure and new, as though it were newly 
born, and quite unspoiled by the feeble attempts 
at praise that the world has made for the last 
four hundred years. 

We went at sunset. The approach is through 
a broad, rather dusty park. Then you enter a 
large green square, surrounded by fine walls of 
red sandstone, and at one side is a beautiful tow- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 449 

ering gateway, like the face of a great cliff, all red 
stone, inlaid with fine designs in white marble. 
You are now in the vestibule of the Taj garden. 
In one corner is a stone caravanserai, and several 
fine red stone mosques are clustered near the 
walls. Here travellers found a welcome, and the 
poor were cared for in memory of the loved wife 
and Empress. 

As soon as we stepped through the great gate, 
the Taj burst on our sight. It is so sudden that 
it almost hurts. The picture I enclose is taken 
from the gate, but it gives no idea of the beauty 
of the view. High stone walls surround the spa- 
cious garden and absolutely shut out the rest of 
the world. A mass of green trees and flowers, 
divided by a marble canal vdth a wall on each 
side, fills the foreground, and beyond rises the 
Taj. The great surprise is the size of the build- 
ing. It is huge hke a great cathedral. Each of 
the four towers is a massive monument, one hun- 
dred and thirty-seven feet high. The platform 
on which it stands is no mere pedestal, but a 
broad field of dazzling white; the dome, Hke an 
imprisoned balloon, seemingly on the point of 
breaking away and soaring into the sky, is one 
hundred and eighty-seven feet above the ground, 
and the whole is of marble, white and pure as 



450 LETTERS OF 

snow. The only color about the building is the 
tracery of precious stones, which you can see in 
the picture. Cornelian, agate, lapis lazuli, mother 
of pearl, and jade worked into beautiful flowers 
and delicate Persian letters that sing the praises 
of the dead Empress. The evening light trans- 
formed the marble into cream-colored ivory, and 
filled the hollows with warm, glowing shadows. 
I was honestly moved. I did not think a building 
could ever have power to give me a thrill, but the 
three hours I spent there were almost dreamlike. 
We walked closer and saw the marble screens 
that fill the openings in the alcoves. Carved 
stone that looks like cobweb or the softest lace. 
We entered the tomb with a group of Indians 
clad in green velvet and gold, and stood beneath 
the great dome beside the tomb. The Hght filter- 
ing through the carved stone was soft and dim, 
there was a smell of sandalwood, and the beau- 
tiful tombstone was heaped with roses. One of 
the Indians stepped forward and cried, "Allah! 
Allah!" and the clear musical sound rose to the 
dome and circled round its smooth white walls, 
making the marble ring like a bell; again and 
again it sounded, and then crept whispering 
down, as though it could not leave so beautiful 
a place. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 451 

Directly behind runs the river Jumna, and we 
sat for some time on the broad marble field that 
forms the platform, and looked far down on the 
river, or across to the miles of flat ruin-dotted 
country beyond. Then as the Hght faded, we 
wandered off to one side into the Persian rose 
garden, heavy with fragrance and blessed with 
frequent glimpses of the Wonder rising close at 
hand among the trees. We did not leave until 
after dark, and starlight was even more beautiful 
than the evening sun. 

The next day I saw it again at high noon, 
when it was ablaze with light. It rose out of the 
dark greenery about it like white fire, and was 
as glorious as on the day before. The effect it 
makes on all kinds of people from all countries 
proves that beauty is not relative but absolute. 
My boy was overcome by it, and the gardens are 
always full of wondering natives. I saw an old 
American man, white-haired, wandering about 
alone with his hat on the back of his head, and 
when he saw me, he could n't hold in, although 
he probably thought I was English, and he 
called out, "Well, I guess this is big all right!" 
That was just his way of paying tribute, and I 
felt kindly towards him. 

I think that the Taj, set as it is in perfect sur- 



452 LETTERS OF 

roundlngs, is the most beautiful single object 
of any sort that I have ever seen. 

When we reached Agra, we found that Am. 
had driven out to Fatehpur Sikhri, a ruined cap- 
ital of Akbar near-by, so we drove out, twenty- 
five miles, to join him. We found that he had 
been hunting around the dak bungalow, and 
had secured six buck and two peacocks, besides 
innumerable hare, pigeon, and partridge, so we 
lived well for a time, both at Fatehpur and at 
Agra. The bungalow was comfortable and I 
spent the night. 

The old city, with its mosques, baths, au- 
dience-halls, and palaces, is in almost perfect 
preservation, but is absolutely deserted. Every- 
thing is of stone, — fine, hard, red stone, carved 
so richly that it is like embroidery or tapestry. 
There is only a tiny village nestled beneath the 
walls, so I had the place quite to myself, and 
at sunset, by starlight, and at sunrise, I wan- 
dered about the deserted rooms and courts, and 
explored the underground passages and rooms 
with which the hill is honeycombed. 

Maung Tun is a great lover of the country 
and quite a naturalist, and together we went 
hunting without guns. He showed me a wild 
pigeon's nest with eggs, a peacock's nest, the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 453 

cool places in some neighboring ruins where the 
leopard cats spend the hot noons; and we flushed 
twenty-five wild peacocks and a small kind of 
wild boar. Altogether it was a delightful two 
days. 

I enclose also a picture of one of the great 
gates of the deserted city. These buildings are 
just the sort that children imagine. The palaces 
and fortresses of fairy tales, massive, imposing, 
and romantic beyond description or imagina- 
tion. At Agra, besides seeing the Taj, we saw the 
fort. It is a formidable enclosure, crowded with 
palaces that put Versailles to shame for luxury 
and magnificence. There are two types of build- 
ings, — those strong, massive, red palaces of 
Akbar, the fighter, and the dehcate, dreamlike, 
luxurious, white-marble buildings, added by his 
grandson Shah Jehan, — the pleasure-loving. 
Akbar's palace has something of Egyptian 
grandeur, and is full of towers and courts, and 
balconies, from which he used to watch tiger- 
fights and battles royal among his elephants. 

Shah Jehan's palace has marble passages 
lighted by the sun shining through the stone! 
Boudoirs inlaid with onyx and emerald and 
pearl, scented baths, and marble brooks run- 
ning through the rooms, and fountains with 



454 LETTERS OF 

beautifully carved basins that used to spray per- 
fume. Broad marble courts for flowers and 
grape-arbors, tiny marble mosques, audience- 
halls, zenanas, the jasmine tower built out on a 
rampart of the grim wall, all of marble, — white, 
unspotted marble. He had one white court laid 
out like a parchesi board, and he played with 
slave-girls for pieces, directing their movements 
by a throw of the dice. 

Underneath is a labyrinth of rooms and dun- 
geons and passages leading, they say, to the Taj 
and even to Fatehpur, twenty-five miles away. 
These Mogul triumphs are well worth a trip to 
see. Until I visited them, I thought that Oriental 
magnificence was a fable, but it must have been 
something beyond belief. Here at Delhi the 
greatest interest to me lies in the street-life, — a 
crowd of veiled ladies in flowing skirts or trou- 
sers, Hindus, Mohammedans, Fathans and Af- 
ghans from the North, sacred cows as big as 
buffaloes, that stand majestically in the middle 
of the crowded streets, thoughtfully chewing 
what they have stolen unrebuked from the way- 
side stalls, wedding processions, street-dancers, 
jugglers and hawkers, all in one grand jumble. 
Pekin is the only other place I have seen with 
more interesting street-life. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 455 

There are also fine palaces here, and miles of 
ruins outside the city, the imposing Kutab Mi- 
nar, the Jama Mazid, India's greatest mosque, 
— many things of interest for the student of the 
Indian mutiny, and shops galore. 

India has certainly many interesting sights, 
and is well worth a visit, no matter how short a 
time one has, but it is very tiring and depress- 
ing, and the distances are enormous. 

I think I shall go from here to Amritsar and 
Lahore, then to Bombay, by Jaipur and Udai- 
pur, passing again through Delhi on the way 
down. Purdy and Am. are leaving shortly for 
two weeks in Kashmir, and will then proceed 
south to Ceylon, but I shall not see much more 
of them, for they have now decided to return 
through China, Am. having given up all his 
other plans. Unless they change again, we prac- 
tically part company for the rest of the trip. 
Scurve has already sailed for Europe. With 
Maung Tun, who is well educated and is a de- 
voted companion, I shall not be lonely, I hope. 
India, while a cheap country in which to live, is 
proving a very expensive one in which to travel. 
The hotels and railroads are very reasonable, 
but to reach the native city in each place, one 
must always drive about two miles, and as the 



456 LETTERS OF 

heat and dust prevent walking, it means that a 
carriage must be hired for each day and for the 
whole day. None of the drivers talk English, 
and for the places we have visited so far a guide 
has been an absolute necessity. Then there are 
fees to the keepers of each place, for India is 
cursed with seekers after backsheesh. 

The English live an English life here, in com- 
plete isolation from the native, and the easy 
intercourse and chance to know the native, so 
pleasant in China and Japan, is here absolutely 
impossible. I am hoping against hope that 
the native capitals Jaipur and Udaipur may be 
different. 

I think I am a bit homesick to-day and do wish 
I could see you all; but Europe is next door to 
America, and I shall be in Europe, I think, be- 
fore the end of April. As soon as plans definitely 
mature, I shall cable where to address your let- 
ters from home. Do not send any to Teheran or 
Constantinople, for I shall probably not visit 
either place. I wish I could take Maung Tun to 
Europe with me. 

Loads and loads of love to all. I '11 write a 
better letter in a few days; to-day the words 
don't flow well. I am in fine health and will soon 
send the account of the Sikkim trip. I have re- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 457 

ceived a letter from home dated January 19th, 
so feel quite in touch with you again. 

Yours, Gilbert. 

Udaipur, March 6, 1908. 

Dear Ones, — At Delhi I separated from 
Am. and Purdy, who went north into Kashmir, 
but I trust that the first of April will see us to- 
gether again. Father's fine letter, in which he 
tells me that I may return through China, came 
after they left, so they do not yet know that there 
is a possibility of my joining them ; I had defi- 
nitely given up the Orient. 

In father's letter he does not say whether or 
no he could join me in Italy this spring, and I 
am hoping that in a few days at Bombay I shall 
find letters that will clear up that point. At pre- 
sent my plans are as follows : To-morrow I shall 
proceed to Bombay, reaching there on Monday 
the 9th. From Bombay I shall go straight to 
Colombo by rail, if it is not too murderously hot, 
otherwise by water. I shall spend a week or two 
in the hills of Ceylon, resting after the exertions 
of Indian travel, and waiting for Purdy and Am. 
If I find that father will join me in Italy, I shall 
then proceed to Europe early in April. If I find 
he is not planning to join me, I shall sail for 
Manila about April loth. 



4S8 LETTERS OF 

If I go east, I shall simply hit the high spots. 
I should like to make Manila and Pekin and 
Seoul the three only real stops, and if I found 
time before the steamer sailed, I might climb 
Fuji, a three or four days' trip, to get a bit of ex- 
ercise before the long sea-voyage. If the steam- 
boat fares are too steep for this schedule, I may 
cut out my admired Pekin, and substitute a week 
with friends at Canton College and a week's 
visit to the Peets at Foochow College. At both 
those places I should meet intelligent men, who 
have spent their lives among the Chinese, and 
could introduce me to many English-speaking 
Celestials in the schools and cities of Canton and 
Foochow. While Pekin is the most picturesque 
and interesting place in China, and the political 
centre, and while I should there have a chance to 
talk to more famous and influential foreigners 
than in the South, I should not meet English- 
speaking Chinese. 

Canton and Foochow, on the other hand, 
pride themselves on being intellectual and com- 
mercial centres and call the Pekinese barbarians, 
and as both these cities lie on my direct route 
home through Japan, they would involve no 
extra expense. If I have to substitute them for 
Pekin, I should proceed direct to Moji in Japan, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 459 

and from there visit Seoul, an inexpensive side- 
trip of one night on a ferry and a short day on a 
slow train. I expect that Korea v^ould be full of 
meat. 

From Delhi I had planned to visit Lahore and 
Amritsar, then to start south, passing once more 
through Delhi, and taking in Jaipur and this 
place on my way to Bombay. But father's letter 
made me anxious to reach Bombay, to get the 
rest of my mail and get into cable communica- 
tion with you once more, if possible ; then, too, 
the idea of " doing " Amritsar and Lahore alone, 
and spending two extra sleepless nights on these 
bouncing, dusty trains, did not appeal to me, so I 
started south from Delhi on last Monday night, 
reaching Jaipur at five in the morning, pitch- 
dark, without having had one minute's sleep all 
night. As I said in my letter to Helen, although 
India is distinctly worth while, it is not pleasant 
and is very tiring. Darjeeling is a garden spot, 
the buildings at Agra are magnificent, and this 
place, Udaipur, is a typical Eastern city, whose 
equal no imagination could create unaided. I 
should not care to have missed these things at all, 
were the unpleasant features doubly accentuated, 
but I am panting for Ceylon. Before I proceed 
to give you the jewels I have packed away in my 



46o LETTERS OF 

memory during the last few days, let me outline 
the unpleasantnesses. 

In the first place, India is a sight-seers' coun- 
try and I am not a born sight-seer, in fact, dis- 
like it as a rule. If I can run across a "sight" on 
my daily ramble or ride, I absorb it and am 
thankful for it and take it as one of the plums 
of life; but to spend weeks stalking through 
mediocre and tawdry old piles, with a garrulous 
commission-hunting guide egging one on, and 
a rabble of beggars and children shrieking for 
"backsheesh," is not my idea of self-develop- 
ment at all. The natives of India are either 
cringing or insolent at first acquaintance, and to 
treat them all as servants and shout monosylla- 
bic orders at them in a loud, frowning tone is the 
customary and really the best way to treat them. 
If you don't do it, they think you are afraid of 
them. The educated Babus are full of words and 
meaningless phrases, and those I have talked 
with have universally condemned British rule, 
with arguments less logical than the parrot-like 
war-cries of the rabid socialists at home. Heaven 
help us if our educational system in the Philip- 
pines produces anything like the Bengali Babu ! 
Of course, there are fine men among them, and 
in some sections the natives are splendid gentle- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 461 

men throughout; but long residence and a know- 
ledge of the language are absolute essentials to 
getting any first-hand information about them, 
or forming acquaintance with them. 

Hence, travel in India resolves itself into look- 
ing at the picturesque cities and monuments with 
which the country is dotted. That many of these 
are worth seeing at any cost in comfort, I not 
only admit but staunchly maintain, but to reach 
them one must travel hundreds of miles over 
barren, dust-choked wastes. 

The hotels are all built in cantonments two or 
three miles from the cities. These cantonments 
are dreary collections of fields, with stunted trees 
rising at sparse intervals from the baked and 
cracking earth, each building being from an 
eighth to a quarter of a mile distant from all its 
neighbors. The roads are without paths or side- 
walks, open to the deadly sun and ankle-deep in 
red dust. The result is that exercise is almost 
impossible (although I have managed a walk al- 
most every evening, swearing each time I would 
never do it again), and you go from point to 
point in rattling carriages that move along in a 
pillar of fine dust. The hot sun throws you into 
a perspiration, and the cold wind still blow- 
ing, north of Agra, chills you at the same time : 



I 



462 LETTERS OF 

result, bad colds for all of us. The dust, which 
hangs in the air and makes haloes about the 
lights at night, parches you inside and outside : 
result, chapped hands and face and cracked lips, 
smarting throat and nostrils. The glare is unre- 
lieved by a cloud the size of a man's hand : re- 
sult, a continuous squint and tendency to head- 
ache. Do you wonder that I regret the ocean 
travel we have been able to make use of almost 
exclusively for the last seven months, and the 
freer stretches and more attractive and more 
easily studied questions of the Far East ? 

With an interesting party of people, ladies in- 
cluded (for this is a Mem Sahibs' land, full of 
shops), and a special train and plenty of ice and 
soda, I should like to attack India once more; 
but for the present I am satisfied to leave. Now 
for the plums. 

Jaipur and Udaipur are two native capitals 
of two adjoining Rajput States. Their rulers are 
among the proudest of Indian kings, and trace 
their descent through generations of princes, 
stretching back to times when the ancestors of 
European kings were long-haired brigands. 

Jaipur is a walled city of about one hundred 
and fifty thousand inhabitants, lying in the midst 
of a sandy desert full of peacocks, black buck, 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 463 

and ruins, all of which you can see in almost 
every direction you cast your eyes. 

A stroll, or rather drive, of a mile from the 
hotel brings you to one of the gates in the crenel- 
lated wall about the town. There is a walled 
outer courtyard, with a gate on the side, built 
around each of the main entrances. The town 
is well laid out — a broad main street bisecting 
it, and three cross avenues one hundred feet wide 
trisecting its length. The huge blocks into which 
these avenues divide the town are pierced in all 
directions by a network of picturesque alleys, 
overhung by balconies of pierced stone, from 
which the ladies can look down unobserved upon 
the passing throng. The whole town is painted a 
delicate pink, and the type of architecture is or- 
nate to the last degree, sometimes beautiful, but 
more often a bit tawdry and spectacular, like the 
stucco buildings one sees at our Expositions. 

I went through the palace, after having ob- 
tained a pass from the president, but did not wax 
enthusiastic about the huge pile and its scat- 
tered courts and gardens. Two things vnthin the 
sacred precincts did interest me intensely, how- 
ever. One was the lake of crocodiles. We stood 
above the lake, on a platform belonging to some 
pavilion or other, and a wild-looking Rajput 



464 LETTERS OF 

stood on the bottom step below us, at the water's 
edge, and uttered a series of wild cries, belting 
the water meanwhile with an inflated bladder 
on a string. Soon we saw ripples on the surface 
drawing closer to the steps, and a big tortoise 
and two crocodiles, eight or ten feet long, 
climbed on the steps. They opened their huge 
jaws, and the wild individual who had sum- 
moned them up from the depths threw great 
chunks of meat down their gullets, with such 
force that it seemed as though the gobbets of 
flesh must drive to the tips of their tails. When 
the beasts grew ugly and snapped at him, he 
rapped them on their noses with a big cudgel, 
and the blows sounded as though they were 
delivered on a steel plate. 

The second interesting sight was the Mahara- 
jah's paymaster exercising his functions. Two 
of the curtains screening the arches of the Di- 
wan-i-Khas, or great audience-hall, were heavily 
looped up, giving glimpses into its cool dark re- 
cesses where one caught the gleam of gilt and 
glass mosaic. On the outer edge of the hall- 
platform, in a strip of brilliant sunlight, half a 
hundred gay retainers of the palace were seated 
in a semicircle around the paymaster, an impas- 
sive fat man gorgeously dressed, squatting with 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 465 

his back against a pillar. Facing him, and 
within the semicircle, sat five scribes, who wrote 
simultaneously the name of the man called and 
the amount paid him. Between them and the 
paymaster was a great heap of silver coins, and 
on either side a man with scales weighing each 
amount as the crier called the sum due. 

Outside the city gates is a park, full of pretty 
walks and drives and tiger-cages; the Mahara- 
jah spends a large sum on it yearly. 

The street-life of Jaipur is justly famed, but 
we could not judge its full interest, as the city 
is now half deserted on account of the plague. 
Many shops are closed, and a comparatively 
small traffic is carried on in the great pink 
avenues; the Maharajah himself has fled, leav- 
ing behind his four wives and two hundred sub- 
wives, and of those remaining seventy to eighty 
are dying every day. There is one gate through 
which all the bodies are carried to be burned; 
and when I first entered the city through that 
gate, I met a victim borne on a stretcher under 
a red velvet robe. In one of the main thorough- 
fares I saw a buffalo freshly sacrificed in front 
of a wayside shrine to appease the angry gods. 
It is almost unheard-of for Europeans to catch 
the plague, but I took every precaution and 



466 LETTERS OF 

stayed only one night. I also forbade Maung 
Tun to enter the city, except with me in the car- 
riage. 

On our last evening we visited the old capital, 
Amber, now deserted for Jaipur. It is distant 
a drive of five miles into the barren hills, and the 
first sight of it is most impressive, swung as it is 
above the road between two higher hills, with 
lofty gateways, high blank walls, and carved 
turrets. The interior is interesting, too — there 
are some fine apartments with beautiful views 
through the hills and across the desert to Jai- 
pur. The garden is pretty and the baths under- 
ground; the inlaid work, the carved marble, and 
the doors of sandalwood inlaid with ivory, are 
better than any I have seen outside of Agra and 
Delhi. Opening off from one of the lower courts 
is a temple to Kali, the goddess with a necklace 
of human skulls, and on the stone floor was a 
pool of undried blood, where the morning sacri- 
fice of a goat had just taken place. They say 
that the greedy goddess used to claim a man in 
the brave old days. 

I rather dreaded the trip to Udaipur, and my 
worst fears were realized, but one interesting 
feature was the quantity of black buck we saw 
from the train. I think we passed at least a thou- 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 467 

sand between five in the afternoon and sunset, 
shortly before seven. 

During the long, arid crawl from the second 
junction, Chitorghar, to Udaipur, the next day, 

I was beguiled by the company of Major I , 

the Resident Surgeon of this Mewar State, who 
gave me a great deal of valuable information, and 
asked me to call. 

It seems that the Maharana of Udaipur is the 
proudest of the proud. He is directly descended 
from the Sun, and is the only man in India who 
did not bow his head when the proclamation 
of the King-Emperor was read ; neither threats 
nor persuasion could induce him to admit King 
Edward as more than a brother sovereign, and a 
foreigner at that. His wife, the Maharanee, has 
never looked on the face of a white woman (ex- 
cept possibly from behind her marble fretted 
screen) ; and last year when the Princess of Wales 
graciously sent word that she would call, the 
spirited old lady said that she would n't for a 
moment think of seeing her ! 

The old gentleman is a fine ruler, but he hates 
innovation, and despises the post-office and the 
little one-horse railroad that creeps across the 
desert at ten miles an hour and connects him, after 
a fashion, with the outside world. He will not 



468 LETTERS OF 

allow the horror within three miles of the palace, 
so the visitor bumps for three miles in a tonga 
(the only sort of vehicle or cart here available), 
to reach the meagre shelter, owned by the rail- 
road and humorously dubbed "hotel." 

The Maharana has an income of ;^ 1,000,000 in 
gold a year, and out of this he pays all expenses 
of the State. He really governs himself, and does 
not even allow budgets to his departments, but 
passes on each expenditure separately. He goes 
into camp all winter, with a court of three thou- 
sand followers, and shoots tiger and leopard to 
his heart's content, transacting all State business 
in his royal tent. He has two daughters, but 
there is a curse on the house of Udaipur, and for 
centuries no son has succeeded his father. The 
present prince — there is only one — is an inva- 
lid, and suffers severely from tuberculosis of the 
spine. 

At the "hotel" I had a chance to absorb my 
surroundings. I had pictured a fair countryside, 
with emerald hills and gleaming lakes, but no 
such Kashmirian idyll met my gaze, as I stood 
on the painfully bare and unsupported knoll on 
which the tiny hotel rested, looking like a grim, 
stone powder-magazine, or smallpox camp, in its 
loneliness. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 469 

We had crawled for six hours across an arid 
desert, and had entered the hills only at the last 
moments of the journey. Now I gazed on a mass 
of disordered hills and broken ranges running in 
every direction, and behind the shoulders of the 
nearest elevations peered others and still others, 
drawing the eye away to the west, where the wild 
Bhils live. One of the hills bears a white fortress 
or palace so far away as to seem a toy, and 
down the flank of a range to the south wanders a 
snake-like wall. The prevailing non-escapable 
withered yellow of a famine year is over every- 
thing the eye can see. 

But in a hollow, not very far to the west, floats 
a mirage, low-lying like an early morning mist. 
A phantom of the brain it must be, or a strange 
illusion born of the sun and the dust-haze. A 
fair strong city, with flat roofs and minarets and 
temple-towers. White and dazzling it is, and 
bound with mighty walls and girded about with 
gardens of great green trees ; and out of it rises 
a marble palace that seems half the city in itself. 
It seems as though the whole desert of Rajpu- 
tana must have been created just to form a set- 
ting for Udaipur, the City of Sunrise. 

In the mellowness of late afternoon I ventured 
in a tonga through the streets of the dream-city. 



470 LETTERS OF 

Everything was as it should be. The Arabian 
nights became real. All of the streets were nar- 
row and twisted about, uphill and down. All of 
the houses were white, and elbowed each other 
about, and some stood in the middle of the road, 
and others leaned across the way to whisper se- 
crets, and the upper balconies were pierced with 
tiny loop-holes and screen-work so the ladies 
could watch the passing show unseen. At Udai- 
pur it is very stylish to have a life-sized tiger or 
lion, or an elephant, or horse and rider, painted 
in brilliant colors on the white wall of the lower 
story, and nearly every one is in style. The crowd 
in the street was gayly clothed and quite self- 
satisfied and self-assured. Children ran shout- 
ing after my tonga ; fine-looking men, with their 
beards brushed straight out on each side like a 
cat's whiskers, strolled by carrying heavy swords 
in the hollow of the arm ; lines of women carry- 
ing brass jars on their heads wound downhill, 
and as they passed, each statuesque figure drew 
her draperies over the face and peered at me with 
one bright eye. 

Camel-riders looked down on me from their 
swaying heights, and a line of ponderous ele- 
phants, loaded with straw, came out of the great 
palace gate moving like mountains, their great 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 471 

backs level with the balconies over the street. 
Beyond them I could [look through three suc- 
cessive courtyards, thronged with retainers and 
hangers-on of the majesty of Udaipur. 

In the great rambhng palace, huge even ac- 
cording to our ideas of a large building, there are 
some modern apartments, with glass chandeHers 
and mechanical toys in cases, and French furni- 
ture; but these are mere curiosities; the great 
suites of rooms, the audience-halls, the old 
courts and palaces, the blank-walled zenana, 
with ridiculous slits and stone-screen balconies 
instead of windows, are pure Indian, as befits 
the Hneal descendant from the Sun, by a thou- 
sand generations of pure-blooded Rajputs. 

One of the princesses is going to marry the 
Maharajah of Jhodpore in May, and in one 
courtyard all the imperial jewelers are hard at 
work, each in his little stall, creating magnifi- 
cence for the bride. At another place the court 
painter plies his trade, and all about are cour- 
tiers and messengers, servants and soldiers. 

In a balcony overlooking a quiet corner the 
invalid Crown Prince lies all day on a silver 
couch among his gentlemen and friends. A 
lonely, hopeless boy, heir to the curse of Udaipur. 

The outer western walls of the palace rise ab- 



472 LETTERS OF 

ruptly from the waters of a large artificial lake, 
a brilliant blue sheet of water, with three island 
water-palaces resting on its surface. It would be 
hard to imagine anything more idyllic than these 
white marble pleasure-halls, with delicate bal- 
conies and arches and a mass of greenery rising 
from their inner courts, the whole apparently 
floating on the blue lake. 

These lakes are a feature of the country round 
Jaipur. There are several, and one is one hun- 
dred miles in circumference. They are held in, 
walled-up in steep valleys by immense dams and 
marble banks, relieved with cool pavilions. Tri- 
umphs of ancient engineering, — but the old ex- 
perts dared not impair their solidity by admitting 
frequent sluices, so the great pure lakes remain 
shut up in the valleys, and the hills rising above 
them remain brown and bare, and the desert 
round about remains arid and unproductive. If 
the dam of the great lake should burst, the coun- 
try would be flooded halfway to Bombay ! 

The gardens at Udaipur are the finest I have 
seen in India, and form a broad-reaching park 
system. It makes one realize what a great land 
this India would be, if the British could produce 
rain as well as they confer peace upon it. 

One afternoon I drove halfway around the 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 473 

city lake to see the wild boar fed. Great bullocks 
passed us drawing heavy loads, and each beast 
had its horns painted green or red. On the way 
through the city I passed a wedding procession. 
A boy gorgeously dressed being driven through 
the streets, at the end of a velvet cord, by his 
bride, a tiny veiled girl of eight or ten; a strange 
sight, even in India. 

At sunset we stood on a tower across the lake 
from the city, and watched the Maharana's sol- 
diers pour maize from great sacks to a fighting, 
squealing horde of wild boar beneath. Hun- 
dreds gather from the open jungle about the 
tower to partake of this charity, and pigeons, 
doves, and peacocks lurk about to pick up the 
crumbs. I counted sixty wild peacock in sight 
at once; the boar were countless. 

Bombay, March 12. 
It took me part of three days to reach Bombay 
from Udaipur, but I had a chance to see the great 
fortress and tower of victory at Chitor, and the 
temples and mosques of Ahmedabad on the 
way. I also met some delightful Anglo-Indians. 
I had the pleasure of a very instructive and enjoy- 
able six hours' conversation on the train with 
the Right Reverend Bishop of Nagpur, who has 



474 LETTERS OF 

charge of all Central India and Rajputana. He 
is a charming English gentleman of the best type. 
I have also joined forces for the time being with 
a young Scotchman by the name of Dick, Mur- 
ray Dick. He has been tea-planting in Ceylon 
for two years, and is now going home on a visit, 
but first he thought to see India. I met him at 
Udaipur, and we are going on to Colombo to- 
gether by steamer to-morrow. 

We are taking a slow British-India coast-boat, 
and will not reach Ceylon before ten days' time. 
We stop, however, at five or six interesting places 
on the Malabar coast, and also at Cochin, a city 
of Travancore, the interesting native state at the 
bottom of the Indian peninsula. 

Dick's acquaintance with and in Ceylon will 
make my visit there pleasanter than under ordi- 
nary circumstances. The length of the voyage 
will also enable Am. and Purdy to catch up with 
me, I hope. 

Although I would not have missed India for 
worlds, I am delighted to be through with it; it 
has not been a pleasant month and I have been 
dreadfully homesick, although my health is ex- 
cellent. 

The home mail came to-day with a letter from 
father dated February i ith, and one from Helen 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK 475 

enclosing some interesting pictures ; it was very 
thoughtful of her and I appreciate it. I am hav- 
ing all mail forwarded to Colombo, and from 
that place I shall cable you definitely which way 
I am going and where to send letters. I am fear- 
fully torn by duty, pleasure, and diverse ambi- 
tions. 

The Sikkim trip is a poor, lame account which 
I will finish on the steamer. I think I can send 
you post-cards from some of the ports in Malabar 
to keep you au courant with my doings. I hope 
the sea- air will blow the cobwebs out of my brain 
and freshen my mental appetite, for India has 
put me stale for the time being. My enthusiasm 
is unimpaired, but it is not enthusiasm for the 
things at present about me. 

I saw the Parsee towers of Silence yesterday, 
but I will spare you a description of them. 

Bombay is another Montreal. A fine, busy 
city, however, and interesting from the point of 
view that makes Chicago interesting. 

Love and hugs to all. I am growing very anx- 
ious to see you. 

Gilbert. 



Message by Cable 

Mangalore, India, March 26, 1908. 

Gilbert M. Stark, 
Saginaw, Michigan. 
Gilbert died to-day. Everything possible done. 
Immediate funeral necessary. We separated 
three weeks ago and only rejoined him to-day. 

Mather. 
Stout. 



APPENDIX 



Extracts from Journal of the Voyage between 
Seattle and Yokohama 

THE SCARLET WOMAN 

She is the only woman on the passenger list, 
and she is deeply in love with the Japanese boy 
who brought her on board ; he does not love her. 
She pays the bills for both ! 

She does not look like a bad woman; she has 
great dark eyes, and under the paint, which 
seems necessary to her ideas of elegance, her 
face is pitifully young. She behaves herself ex- 
cellently, except that her manners are modelled 
after the servant girls' ideal of what a perfect 
lady should be. On this boat, where every other 
man is a missionary, her presence is regarded 
with about the same complacency as that of a 
Russian bomb, with time-fuse lighted, would be. 
One Sunday night she appeared for the first time 
in finery, — a lace dress, just the kind you see 
in department store windows on wide-eyed wax 
ladies. Every one treats her with icy politeness, 
and one cannot help admiring the pluck she 
shows, for she is neither brazen nor callous; she 
is simply unused to anything else. Later, when 
one of the missionaries brought his folding organ 



48o APPENDIX 

on the deck and started a song service, she came 
out to listen, and as she came she two-stepped 
unconsciously to the tune of the old hymn they 
were singing. 

She was cold in her lace gown, and some one 
gave her a steamer rug. It was a strange picture. 
At the organ three Japanese, one playing, one 
turning the leaves, and one leading the singing. 
Behind, a dozen men singing, hard-working 
missionaries and college youths that had never 
worked. In front, facing them, alone — the 
scarlet woman. Lips red with rouge, eyes big 
and dark and a little tired looking; the high, 
cheap pompadour above them looked strangely 
out of place. At first she beat time gayly, but the 
tunes were strange, and she sat quiet on the foot 
of a steamer chair. She still shivered under the 
heavy rug, but stayed until the end. Just beyond 
was the fog, and the sea. 



APPENDIX 481 

Nakada San, 

Juji Nakada is his full name. San is simply a 
much prettier way than ours of saying Mister. 
He is short even for a Japanese, so short that he 
could never enter the army. He is a Christian 
missionary and owns a school in Tokio where 
Orientals are trained to preach. His idea is that 
each country must be Christianized by native 
missionaries, and it is his aim to supply them. 
He is very jolly and very active ; in fact, he was 
expelled from one mission school because he 
spent so much time in learning jiu-jitsu. He is 
now returning from his second trip to Europe 
and around the world, and is carrying home with 
him a travelling organ, an Americanized Jap to 
teach music, and an Englishman to teach Eng- 
Hsh Literature and philosophy. 

We talk with him a great deal, and have 
learned many more interesting things from him 
than from any of the books we have read. He 
is a samurai, was chaplain under General Kuroki 
in the late war, and is a cousin of the " Hero of 
Port Arthur." 



482 APPENDIX 

Samurai spirit. 

The samurai spirit is a strange thing, one that 
a foreigner can scarcely grasp. It cannot be put 
into words, but neither can it be destroyed. Na- 
kada says that while he may go years without 
feeling it, at every crisis in his life, pouf ! he is 
again the old samurai. Its two great demands 
were loyalty to the Emperor and piety to the 
parent, and as the samurai were the warriors, 
it was aggressive in the extreme. The old jiu- 
jitsu motto is the essence of samurai spirit — 
"If your opponent cut your skin, do you cut 
his flesh; if he cut your flesh, do you cut his 
bone'M 

"My mother," says Nakada, "my mother 
very nervous woman, she all-a-the tears." And 
yet, when her son died and Nakada, who had 
been alone with him at death, brought the news 
home, and when all the household broke into 
loud crying and lamenting, the old lady, usually 
so weak, dashed aside her tears with her hand 
and cried, "Why you-a-make so much the noise, 
he will not come back!" "Samurai spirit," says 
Nakada. "Old samurai spirit, for she was cry- 
ing in-a-the heart ! " 

Now that the old classes have been abolished, 
the samurai spirit animates the whole nation, 



APPENDIX 483 

and of late years it has coined the word "pa- 
triotism/' very popular now, unknown before. 

Poetry, 

The other morning Hervey happened to say 
that he had never been able to discover any 
meaning in Japanese poetry; he quoted the 
translation of one poem — " It is night, the frogs 
jump into the marble pool." Nakada says that 
just such simple lines convey a wealth of mean- 
ing to the Oriental mind. They are pregnant 
with this will-o'-the-wisp — samurai spirit, that 
seems to cover every phase of life, from blows to 
meditation. The characters in which the words 
are written also add to the beauty; some char- 
acters are whole pictures in themselves. Words- 
worth is the foreign poet most read by Japanese 
— Byron next. . . . 

Races of Japan. 

There seem to have been five different im- 
migrations to Japan from four directions — 
from the southern islands, from India, from 
China, and from Korea. Traces of the different 
races are quite distinct to-day, and of some men 
you can say with surety at what immigration 
their families entered the country. Our friend 



484 APPENDIX 

Nakada has a Malayan cast of countenance, 
others are plainly Chinese. 

Most interesting of all is the Imperial immi- 
gration, and those belonging to the Imperial 
race are easiest to detect. The characteristics 
are long, narrow, low cheek-bones, high-bridged 
nose, and a well-developed moustache or beard. 
This race entered from Korea and the north, 
and are supposed to have been the first comers. 
On their arrival, the islands were inhabited by 
the Ainus, the "hairy Ainus," the Japs call 
them, who now survive in scanty numbers on the 
island of Ezo, or Hokkaido, as the natives call 
it. "A most-a-the shaggy people," says Nakada. 
The Imperial race intermarried with these peo- 
ple — hence their tendency towards beards. In 
Japanese inns the charge made is according to 
a person's rank, and the beard is so universally 
esteemed a sign of high rank that only the rich 
can afford to wear a beard while travelling. 

Asia Minor — home of the Imperial race. 

The Emperor is almost sixty, and is a very tall 
man, — contrary to newspaper reports, — in fact, 
almost six feet high. He is the one hundred and 
twenty-sixth descendant in a direct line, and his 
sacred possessions are a sword, a mirror, and a 



APPENDIX 485 

large pearl. These were brought into Japan by 
his ancestors, and it is a significant fact that the 
sword is a Damascus blade, the mirror has a 
Chaldean inscription on its back, and the pearl 
is unmistakably from the Red Sea. The con- 
clusions are obvious, and the usual number of 
enthusiasts claim that here is the lost tribe of 
Israel. There seem to be as many lost tribes 
of Israel as there are descendants of Jonathan 
Edwards, and a tribe so well and so frequently 
found ought, I think, to lose once and for all the 
appellation "lost." There is, however, excellent 
ground for believing that the Emperor's race 
came more or less directly from the old cradle 
of the human race, between the Tigris and the 
Euphrates. 



486 APPENDIX 

Partial Account of the Sikkim Trip found 
among the papers of Gilbert Little Stark^ 

A short railway journey in the late afternoon, 
a ferry across the Ganges, a night in the cars, 
travelling always to the north, and you are at 
the very spot where the great plain of Bengal 
first rises into the foothills of the Himalayas. 

It was a warm, pleasant morning, the last in 
January, when we made a hurried change at this 
spot into a toy train standing across the station 
platform on a little two- foot track. We crammed 
our odds and ends in somehow, under our feet 
and behind our backs, and up we went into the 
hills like a fly up a wall. This little railroad 
performs the most marvellous feats during its 
six hours' climb to Darjeeling: it crawls along 
precipices and around jutting promontories, zig- 
zags up vertical slopes, and crosses itself in loop 
after loop. As it puffs on, rising over a thousand 
feet an hour, the air grows perceptibly cooler 
and the vegetation completely changes its char- 
acter. Not only the vegetation but the people 

^ G. L. S. intended to finish this story of the Sikkim 
trip during the voyage from Bombay to Colombo. It was 
on this voyage that he fell sick, being put ashore at the 
city of Mangalore. 



APPENDIX 487 

change absolutely in type. A few hours ago we 
were surrounded by half-nude coolies, with black 
or brown skins and sharp noses; now we pass 
little villages where all of the inhabitants wear 
trousers and heavy coats, and have flat noses 
and little Mongoloid eyes. 

Our companions were two French priests and 
an AustraHan, an elderly gentleman with a tre- 
mendous propensity for asking riddles. Be- 
tween riddles he divided his attention, giving 
some notice to the broad views of the Indian 
plains, which were opening out down the valleys, 
but betraying far more interest in a series of 
whitewashed inscriptions on the rocks, which 
exhorted the passer-by to "Come to the Lord 
to-day," with many variants on that excellent 
theme. Our Australian friend acknowledged 
tremendous admiration for the activity which 
prompted this embellishment of the landscape, 
and repeatedly announced his intention of look- 
ing up its possessor on his arrival at Darjeeling. 
A day or so later I met him in the Bazaar, and 
he told me that he had kept his word. 

"A most excellent man he is, too," our friend 
announced, "a lovely man, a reformed drunk- 
ard, to whom the Lord sent a special message to 
reform Thibet." 



488 APPENDIX 

Another peculiarity in which this old gentle- 
man rejoiced was the habit of addressing all 
natives in the language of the Australian abo- 
rigines. He would lean from the car-window and 
electrify a whole village by pouring forth his soul 
in a string of syllables that sounded like the pop- 
ping of corn. 

Our first impressions of Darjeeling were a 
jumble of steep, misty streets, bordering on bot- 
tomless pits of wreathing clouds. On every side 
strange pigtailed people, men and women, in 
heavy robes, thrust towards us knives and 
battle-axes, prayer- wheels and amulets, and 
through the fog still other shadowy figures hur- 
ried towards us bearing heavy silver ornaments 
loaded with turquoises, and about us was much 
laughter and many cries of, "You buy this!" 
"Master make bargain!" A little further on, 
we ran the gauntlet of pony-boys and double 
rickshaws, and finally warmed our hands over 
the cozy fires in our hotel room; for Darjee- 
ling is over seven thousand feet in altitude, 
and in January the weather is cold even at mid- 
day. 

For three days we gathered information about 
Sikkim, the country we were about to visit, and 
arranged for our passes, coolies, and ponies, 



APPENDIX 489 

which we secured easily, thanks to the valuable 
assistance of the kind Scotch missionaries. 

Darjeeling is built on the side of a spur run- 
ning out into a deep valley. Behind is the first 
range of the Himalayan foot-hills, which rise a 
few hundred feet above the town ; on three sides 
is nothing but atmosphere, and almost six thou- 
sand feet below is the tropical valley of the Run- 
geet River. On the third morning we had a 
glorious view at sunrise, and to the north we saw 
for the first time the mighty snow-peaks of the 
Himalayas. Six or eight lower ranges of rock and 
forests lie between Darjeeling and the snows, but 
these are barely noticed, and the eye travels at 
once to the great masses of ice and snow tower- 
ing behind them, only forty-five miles away. 
The whole range makes a glittering arc of 180 
degrees, comprising twelve peaks over twenty 
thousand feet high, and massing glacier and 
snow-pinnacles together in the centre to form 
Kinchin-junga, twenty-eight thousand feet and 
more above the sea. From a height behind the 
town, Everest, eighty miles away, is visible, but 
only its peak appears, and Kinchin-junga domi- 
nates the view. 

Am. was forced to leave that very evening to 
join a shooting trip on which the Rajah of Kuch- 



490 APPENDIX 

Behar had invited him; so we considered our- 
selves remarkably lucky to have had this morn- 
ing glimpse. By breakfast-time the mists had 
shut in all about us, and the rest of the day was 
cold and gloomy. 

It was Sunday, and the usual weekly Bazaar 
was in progress in the village square and stretch- 
ing far down the main road. Most of the trade 
was carried on by women, although throngs 
of men from a dozen neighboring hill-tribes 
wandered back and forth before the stalls. The 
street was lined with vegetables, oranges, cooked 
food, Thibetan boots and jewelry, and warm 
home-made garments piled in great heaps on 
colored blankets, behind which squatted portly 
dames from Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Thibet. 
A greater variety of ornaments it would be hard 
to find in one place. The Nepalese women pierce 
the left side of the nose and insert a large gold 
button ; around their necks they wear thick cylin- 
drical necklaces of red plush, circled with brass 
rings. The women from the Mongoloid tribes, 
including Thibet, wear heavy silver earrings, 
whose weight is supported by a band across the 
forehead, and about their necks are chains of 
silver and coral, supporting silver boxes studded 
with turquoises. Sometimes these boxes contain 



APPENDIX 491 

prayers or images, and sometimes holy relics. I 
also saw earrings of gold in the shape of arrow- 
heads three inches long. At Darjeeling the tribes 
are mixed, and have often partially adopted the 
dress and ornaments of their neighbors; so it is 
hard to draw correct distinctions between them. 

All in all, the Bazaar showed a laughing, good- 
humored crowd, a bit unwashed it is true, but 
delightfully free from the whining servility of the 
Indian plainsmen. 

Half of the fun of any trip lies in the prepara- 
tion, and Monday morning was full of that par- 
ticular type of fun. There were tinned goods and 
supplies to buy for two whole weeks, for eggs, 
and anon a chicken, were all that we could 
safely trust to find on the road. There were ex- 
tra blankets and gloves and woollen head-pieces, 
with a hole in front, shaped like King Arthur's 
helmet, to buy, and all our belongings must 
be packed in loads of just the right weight for 
coolies to carry. 

There was great bustle and stir on the Httle 
terrace outside our room. Fur-dealers and curio- 
hawkers forsook their haunts under the hotel 
porte-cochere, and came to offer suggestions as 
to the loads and ropes, and to see what foolish 
things the Sahibs found necessary to lug off into 



492 APPENDIX 

the mountains. One old rake in a sky-blue coat 
and fur cap poked his pigtail into everything. He 
was just as drunk as a man can be and stand on 
two legs, and he felt it incumbent on him to tell 
me the nationality of every man on the terrace 
over and over again, as if it were all an interest- 
ing anthropological exhibit of which he was the 
show-man. 

At last we were packed and strapped, and 
could review our little army. Lowest of all on 
the social scale came the carrying coolies : three 
slovenly young Bhutia women, swaddled in dirty 
red robes and muscled like ploughmen; three 
burly Thibetan men, pigtails, top-boots worked 
with red cloth, and belted gowns, big turquoises 
in their ears, charms about their necks, and 
jaunty caps with the brim turned up all the way 
around; two ragged but pleasant Nepalese, who 
carried the grain and blankets for the horses, 
topped the lower strata. Next in importance 
came the four syces, one for each pony. They 
were all Ghurkas from Nepal, and with their 
slight forms and intelHgent faces they made our 
Thibetans seem more like good-humored bears 
than men. Our Burmese boys, Maung Tun and 
Maung Hla, rode ponies and were distinctly the 
aristocrats of the outfit. Maung Tun, I knew 



APPENDIX 493 

well, was a fine young fellow, faithful, willing, 
and far above ordinary intelligence, — a boy to 
be trusted at all times. Maung Hla was still an 
unknown quantity, middle-aged and reticent, 
limiting his conversations with us to vehement 
"Yes, sirs," and "Very well, sirs." We had been 
lucky enough to pick up a Thibetan boy of fif- 
teen, who spoke excellent English, as well as 
Thibetan, Hindustani, Nepalese, and Lepcha, 
the native speech of Sikkim. He was to be offi- 
cial interpreter on our visit to the Lamaseries of 
Sikkim. With the usual liberty allowed boys, he 
chummed with every one, from the most be- 
nighted coolie to the honored Sahibs, Purdy and 
me. Chhodhar was his name, and I shall have a 
great deal to say about him, for he was an un- 
usually interesting subject of an unusually inter- 
esting nation. We sent the cooHes ahead under 
one Dowa, who outshone the rest in dirt and 
jewelry, and acknowledged Nani Babu as cap- 
tain of our Nepalese servants. As the first stage 
was to be a short one, we delayed our own de- 
parture until three in the afternoon. 

The weather was fine and cold when we 
started. The snow-mountains rose in a glitter- 
ing wall to the north, and Darjeeling was sur- 
rounded by a sea of tossing billowy clouds that 



494 APPENDIX 

completely filled the valleys beneath. Down into 
this cloud-belt we plunged; our horses, fine, 
strong Bhutia ponies, were in high spirits, but 
the steepness of the descent soon caused us to 
dismount, for in places the road was a mere 
stairway and the stone steps very abrupt. 

One of the Scotch missionaries, who had been 
so kind in helping us with our arrangements, 
travelled with us during this first afternoon. The 
heavy clouds about us blotted out the fine view 
we should otherwise have enjoyed, but after an 
hour's descent we reached the lower edge of the 
belt and caught glimpses of the river below, at 
first hazily and then clearly as we emerged into 
clear air. 

About four thousand feet below our starting- 
point, we reached the cozy bungalow of one of 
the tea-planters, whose round clipped bushes 
cover these first slopes of the Himalayas; and 
here we stopped for a short chat and an excellent 
cup of Darjeeling tea. Mr. Duncan was to spend 
the night here and take a different route in the 
morning, so we said good-bye, and dropped down 
another thousand feet to the Badamtam dak 
bungalow, where we found our boys and coolies 
awaiting us. As we approached, the Thibetans 
made ducking bows, lifting their caps, the boys 



APPENDIX 495 

and Ghurka syces salaamed, and Maung Tun 
presented us with piping hot cups of tea. It was 
quite Hke a proper home-coming. Maung Hla 
hung about in the background Hke a huge bird 
of prey. He had purchased an old frock-coat at 
Darjeeling, and that garment, together with his 
pointed silk turban and withered face, made him 
look for all the world like an old vulture. 

The bungalow was built on a ridge at the 
junction of three valleys, and the river was still a 
thousand feet below us. By daylight the wooded 
flanks of the great hills and mountains about us 
looked like virgin jungle, but as the night grew 
darker, twinkling cottage-lights and smouldering 
camp-fires appeared thickly sprinkled on their 
dark surfaces, and the ridges towered above us 
so that it was hard to tell where the real stars 
ended and the hghts began. 

Early in the morning we sent off our coolies, 
and an hour later we followed. The road led 
down a pretty wooded slope, and above and 
below us, through the tree-trunks, we could see big 
mounds of earth, smoking like volcanoes, tended 
by charcoal-burners and their wives and chil- 
dren. Most of these people were Nepalese, whose 
costume, language, religion, and cast of feature 
show that they are more closely allied with the 



496 APPENDIX 

Hindu plainsmen than with the other hill-tribes, 
which are all distinctly Mongoloid. On the road, 
which continued broad and well-banked, we 
met strings of Nepalese coolies or bare-legged 
Simboo people, with great baskets of oranges 
on their backs. For more than an hour we de- 
scended, and after reaching the valley-floor, we 
left the main road, which here crosses the Run- 
geet on a narrow suspension bridge, and turned 
up the left bank of the stream. By noon we had 
left the tea-gardens of British Sikkim behind us 
and were at the very edge of the Rajah's own 
country, the wedge which pushes its point into 
Thibet and is bounded on the east by Bhutan 
and on the west by Nepal, — three lands closed 
absolutely to the traveller. To enter Sikkim it- 
self one must secure a pass from the British Gov- 
ernment of India, and in this pass your entire 
route is outlined, and you are warned not to visit 
any place not named in your permit. 

The spot we chose for tiffin was a point of 
wooded land between the Rungeet and a small 
tributary. To the south were the massive shoul- 
ders of the Darjeeling range, dotted with tea- 
gardens, and to the north was the second tier 
of the Himalayan advance-guard. The spit of 
land on which we paused to rest bears a small 



APPENDIX 497 

collection of wooden stores, all built in an open- 
faced group about the village green. The inhab- 
itants are Nepalese and Hindus, with a touch 
of the sans culotte Simboo. Our actions were all 
carefully inspected by the good merchants of 
Singla Bazaar, as the hamlet is called, who 
gravely squatted on their heels among their 
treasures and puffed religiously at the asthmatic 
hookah. Two young specimens of the same 
breed, warmly clothed in a pair of zinc com- 
posite anklets, popularly believed to be silver, 
executed a war-dance about us, and tried to see 
how closely they could approach us without 
being bitten. The remarkable part about these 
youths was their faces, which, for some undis- 
covered reason, had been painted a fresh spring- 
like green. 

Shortly after noon we were stopped by a lordly 
Sepoy and relieved of one copy of our passes, and 
then allowed to enter Sikkim across an extremely 
wobbly bridge, hung by spider-threads above 
the Singla River. Immediately before us rose the 
second range of hills, and we attacked it at what 
was apparently its boldest rise. After a good 
three hours we conquered it, having again re- 
moved ourselves from an altitude of scant two 
thousand to over six thousand feet. 



498 APPENDIX 

These abysmal valleys are a striking feature of 
the Himalayas. A thousand feet below us was a 
cottage-crowned hummock, which we had sup- 
posed to be the summit when we were below, and 
the banana trees, that an hour before had been 
outlined against the sky above, now lay spread 
out like starfish below us. The valley-floor was 
in deep shadow, and against this shadow, far 
below us, the sun gilded the outspread wings of 
a motionless hawk, and to the good people of 
Singla Bazaar this same bird no doubt seemed 
poised immeasurably above in the very zenith of 
the heavens. To the north lay a valley just as 
deep, and across it — we had but to stretch out 
our hands to stroke the forests on its ridge — 
was a third wall waiting for us. 

As we rode along the crest of the second ridge 
to the bungalow at Chakung, a Lepcha wedding 
party crossed our road and wound down the hill- 
side below: a single line of gayly-decked men 
and women, headed by the lamas of the neigh- 
borhood, with pipes and conches, cymbals and 
sheepskin drums. Long after the individual 
wedding guests had dwindled into black ants on 
the long slope, the piercing notes of the pipes, so 
like a Scotch bagpipe that a Highlander would 
fall homesick at once, rose clearly to our ears. 



APPENDIX 499 

A steep scramble up a further rise on the crest 
of the range brought us to the Chakung bunga- 
low nestled under a clump of giant bamboo- 
plumes. 

It was a golden evening, and through the great 
silence of the mountain-tops rose an undertone 
of life from the valleys. The eyes wandered over 
jungle and precipice and tilted field, down, down, 
down, past oak and laurel to the land of palm 
trees, lost in purple haze below. Not a living 
figure appeared over all the vast slopes, but on 
every hand, out of the shadowy valley and from 
its glowing sides, rose the music of the herders, 
calling home the goats and cows, a long-drawn 
yodel, a snatch of song in a fresh, boy's voice; 
the sounds of pigmy life but served to accent the 
majestic quiet of the upper air. 

Near Chakung there are two ruined chaits 
containing Buddhist scriptures, a tupa in ex- 
cellent state of preservation, and a long stone 
mound, rectangular in shape, containing the 
body of Minnhopet, a lama who died about 
eighty years ago at the age of twenty-one. This 
tomb is made of large, smooth stones fitted rudely 
together without mortar, and about halfway up 
its surface is a band of stones, carved with pic- 
tures and the sacred formula, " Om mani padme 



500 APPENDIX 

hum," which means in English, " Oh ! the jewel 
in the lotus!" and is probably the most often 
quoted phrase in any language in the world. 
This decorative line of stones, which runs en- 
tirely around the tomb, itself twenty paces long 
and about nine feet high, is protected above by 
projecting eaves of irregular flat stones. The 
solid but primitive character of the architecture, 
and the naive inscriptions translated by Chhod- 
har, the beauty of the Thibetan characters 
carved in high relief, and the mass of tall grasses 
and tangled flowers growing from the top of the 
tomb and crannies in its sides, threw a charm 
about the narrow ridge and made us loath to 
leave. 

The night was cold, and the roaring wood-fire 
in the bungalow successfully roasted our hands 
and faces, without making any impression on the 
chills that ran merrily up our spines; so we 
sought warmth and obHvion under a mountain 
of blankets. 

A flood of sunlight woke me, and hurrying to 
the door, I saw the snows, which had been cloud- 
wrapped the night before, gleaming high above 
the ridge across the valley. However magnificent 
a view may be, its fascination soon weakens 
when one is clad in gossamer, so to speak, and an 



APPENDIX 501 

icy breath steals up the leg of one's — shall I say, 
nocturnal apparel ? Hence it is that I was think- 
ing seriously of again retreating to the inner 
depths of two heavy army-blankets, when a 
clucking noise, of which I had been subcon- 
sciously aware for some time, caused me to drop 
my eyes from eternal winter to the strangest 
group of suffering mortals ever bound to Bud- 
dha's wheel of Hfe. 

They were six, and two of them wore shaggy 
mops of snow-white hair, and two of them wore 
painted fans projecting from each ear, and two 
of them had no superstructure to relieve the grim 
monotony of their faces. They were Thibetans, 
that I could see, and some were booted and some 
were barefoot, and their robes were more gayly 
colored than the common, ordinary Bhutia sees 
fit to wear. As I looked, they gravely scratched 
each man his ear, and stuck their tongues out 
at me; and such a length of tongue as each 
man possessed ! At first, I was rather inclined 
to take umbrage and to advance upon them 
in wrath, all unarmed as I was; but something 
in the dim recesses of my mind told me that I 
had heard a Munchausen tale somewhere to the 
effect that that was a friendly mode of greeting 
practised in Thibet, and so I spared their lives. 



502 APPENDIX 

Chhodhar appeared around the corner, with his 
mouth full of rice, and explained that these men 
were Thibetan dancers bound for some merry- 
making where their services were required, and 
that my coolies had persuaded them to stay and 
give us a matin exhibition. We reconnoitred the 
ridge for a level spot, — it is hard to find a level 
spot in Sikkim large enough to support a bowl of 
goldfish, — and when semi-success crowned our 
efforts, the troop sprang at once into action. The 
two unadorned proved to be the orchestra. The 
first vigorously clanged a pair of cymbals, and 
the second played the drum. I say played, but 
what he really did was to hold the drum aloft — 
it was shaped like a gigantic baby's rattle — and 
tap it ever and anon with a drumstick shaped 
like a shepherd's crook. 

The dancers wore, hung from their belts, long 
cords with tasselled ends, and as they leaped and 
whirled about, these cords stood out like wheel- 
spokes and made every turn seem twice as rapid 
as it was in reality. The usual method of pro- 
cedure was for two of them to stand on the side- 
lines and sing lustily, while the remaining two 
leaped and sprang about, growling and mutter- 
ing. Sometimes, however, all four would advance 
together and execute a rude ballet, and each in- 



APPENDIX 503 

dividual performer gave us several solo dances. 
The stepw^as rather complicated, and some of the 
leaping and whirling in mid-air was quite re- 
markable from an acrobatic point of view. They 
gave variety, not by varying the dance, but by 
changing the head-dresses, and lions and pea- 
cocks appeared before us in the same gyrations. 

The ground on which they danced was very 
much Hke the top of an A tent, and on each side 
there was a sudden slope of at least three thou- 
sand feet. On account of these natural obstacles, 
they informed us, they could not leap and whirl 
so well as they would like, for a sudden trip to 
the valley on the part of one of the performers 
might seriously interrupt the sequence of the 
dance. 

Down again to the valley-floor, and up the 
third ridge to a rocky saddle. Our coolies were 
carrying at this time a large bundle of paper 
strips printed with the sacred "Mani," as the 
phrase is called, and whenever our path crossed 
a stream, Dowa would bend a sapling at the 
water's edge and tie two or three prayer-strips to 
its top branches. The Ghurka syces laughed at 
this proceeding as mere superstition, but they 
plucked bunches of green leaves, which they laid 
on the edge of the rickety bridges we passed over. 



504 APPENDIX 

and felt sure that this was the only true way to 
ensure a pleasant journey. 

The ravine up which we travelled was full of 
flocks of small parrots, red and green, that flew 
noisily from tree to tree ahead of us ; and once a 
graceful red deer trotted up the path before us 
for a few yards, and then vanished up a preci- 
pice, as lightly as though he had vdnged hoofs. 

TravelHng in Sikkim is a bit like walking a 
treadmill, for you surmount range after range 
only to find before you a narrow valley cleft to 
the bowels of the earth, and another wall of hills 
towering before you. The valleys, however, and 
the succeeding ranges are alike only in their mas- 
sive proportions ; the details and vegetation, even 
at corresponding altitudes, are constantly chang- 
ing, and the fresh barriers constantly arising are 
so different and so beautiful that they inspire the 
traveller instead of discouraging him. From the 
summit of the third range we looked down into 
a funnel-shaped valley, its walls covered with 
thick jungle, broken in places by the rocky scar 
of landslips and mountain torrents, and scat- 
tered patches of yellow mustard-flowers, bril- 
liant as the daubs of ochre on a painter's palette. 

It was not necessary to descend to the bottom 
of the valley to reach the fourth parallel ridge; 



APPENDIX 505 

we were able to work along the sides of the 
funnel, and we achieved the fourth saddle after 
a short climb of fifteen hundred feet. The road 
during the entire day had been a mere bridle- 
path, but it was in good condition, and always 
afforded secure footing for the horses. We rode 
with one foot over a precipice, however, and at 
some corners the pony's neck projected so far 
over the edge that I could look between the reins 
and his shoulders and see the bottom of the 
valley, three quarters of a mile below. 

From the saddle we turned east and rode for 
two miles along the hillside, maintaining ap- 
proximately the same altitude. 

Rinchinpong, where we spent the night, 
boasted eight houses, a Khazi, and a temple. 
The Khazi's house was a very good example of 
Thibetan architecture, and pots of geraniums 
along the balcony railings showed pleasantly 
against the white plaster walls. 

The bungalow was a strongly-built native 
house, with a floor of thick planks roughly 
shaped with an adze. The temple on the hill 
behind the bungalow was a grim stone building, 
with an avenue of sixty flag-bedecked poles 
leading to it. These flags are inscribed with 
the characters, "Om mani padme ham," and 



5o6 APPENDIX 

whenever the breeze flutters them, the prayer 
is given efficacy. It was dim twilight before we 
reached the temple, and so we postponed our 
examination of it until the following morning. 



GILBERT LITTLE STARK was born on 
April 28, 1885, at Saginaw, Michigan. 
He attended the public school in Saginaw, and 
during his High-School course competed in a 
State Oratorical contest, winning first place in 
the local, district, and state competition, with an 
oration on Mirabeau. He prepared for college 
at the Phillips Academy, Exeter, New Hamp- 
shire, entering Yale with the class of 1907. At 
Exeter he was awarded the Merrill prize in Ad- 
vanced English, for having shown the greatest 
steadiness of interest in his work and the most 
intelligent appreciation of the authors read. In 
college he contributed to the Yale Literary Mag- 
azine and the Record ; he was a member of the 
Cercle Fran^aise, Deutscher Verein, Folio Club, 
Exeter Club, Pundit Club, University Club, 
Corinthian Yacht Club, Dramatic Association, 
the Yale Chapter of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity, 
and WolPs Head. He was vice-president of the 
French Club, president of the German Club 
during his Senior year, and coach of the French 
play for two years. He was prominent in dra- 
matics during his entire college course, taking a 



5o8 APPENDIX 

part in the French play during his Freshman 
year, and the part of Isidore in "The Magis- 
trate," presented during the spring term of the 
next year ; he played the part of Prince Hal in 
"Henry IV," presented during his Junior year, 
and the part of the King in " The Pretenders," 
of his Senior year. He held a first-dispute schol- 
arship appointment. Immediately after graduat- 
ing, with a party of classmates, he sailed from 
Seattle, Washington, for a trip around the world, 
and these letters were written during that trip. 

He died at Mangalore, India, on March 26, 
1908, in the midst of his trip. 



Professor William Lyon Phelps of Yale, writ- 
ing for the Tale Alumni Weekly soon after Mr. 
Stark's death, said: — 

"In the death of Gilbert Stark, Yale has lost 
one of her most promising young graduates, and 
I have lost a friend for whom I had the highest 
respect and the warmest affection. I had the 
privilege of an intimate acquaintance with him 
during nearly all of his college course; and 
wholly apart from his well-earned distinction in 
dramatics, English and French literature, and 
multifarious outside activities, he was one of the 



APPENDIX 509 

most interesting and thoroughly attractive young 
men that I have ever known. His personaUty 
had an extraordinary charm; and he was ex- 
actly the kind of man that we like to see go out 
into the world and represent Yale. His influence 
cannot die. *No work begun shall ever pause 
for death.'" 



rr